Agencies specializing in business tourism in France, and all the companies that gravitate around them, are waiting with great expectation that the sanitary measures will allow them to resume normal activity, or at least an activity at all. The hope is there, for September 2021 the specialists are expecting 50% of the business volume of 2019. However, to achieve this, several levers need to be maneuvered.
A sector that counts
Just recently, just before the covid-19 crisis, the business tourism sector (which includes DMC agencies, receptive, professional event, and incentive travel agencies among others) was the subject of a study by the office EY, on its weight in the French economy. Previously somewhat confidential, the activity was brought to light: it weighs 32 billion euros annually, representing 335,000 jobs. In 2018, 380,000 events were organized for companies in metropolitan France, which means nearly two per employee, bringing together 52 million participants.
The companies involved are event and reception agencies, as well as service, leisure and activity providers, hotels, restaurants, transportation, etc. It is thus an important sector for the country’s economy, with a non-negligible share from abroad, 10%, which alone produce 44% of the spin-offs.
It is the right time for activity to resume.
As a corollary of business tourism, air traffic is itself in full adaptation to the situation. The massive suspension of activity has led to equally large layoffs, but the generalization of tests and vaccines should soon lead to a recovery. This recovery will not be in line with the activity of the past. We are already seeing an increase in the prices of flights for which the surviving companies are alone or almost alone (Paris/New-York for example), and we expect a decrease in the prices of domestic flights (intra-USA, intra-Europe) due to the recommendations not to go to the other side of the world anymore. To regain the trust of travelers, airlines are also working on “covide-free” labels and 100% contactless boarding processes.
In this sector, too, the advent of the vaccine and the deployment of health measures allow us to look to the future again. Indeed, without these scientific guarantees, insurance companies have been dragging their feet for the past year in covering the covid risk. They will now be able to offer products dedicated to the protection of companies and clients on a generalized basis, allowing all parties to get back into business.