The discovery of new Covid-19 variants such as Omicron has proven a challenge for the global recovery, particularly in South Africa.

International air travel will likely remain a bit slow in the near term as uncertainties over the omicron Covid variant linger, according to an aviation analyst.

Businesses are now being re-engineered. How we run our companies and do our jobs is changing. People are making new choices about where they want to live and are developing new expectations about working circumstances.

In 2020 we saw face-face events being cancels and replaced with virtual events. As time progressed, we saw business travel recovering. Face to face events are returning, replacing virtual events around the world, and the realisation that critical meetings with potential new clients just arenโ€™t the same on Zoom or Teams, along with the opening of borders, are driving the return of the business traveller.

Despite a slow start, South Africa business travel is still expected to see a strong recovery over the next two years, as was evident in a brief period from August to September when spending in the region began to outpace the rest of the world.

Changing travel bans, new lockdowns and, border requirements and quarantines are challenging the pace of recovery and adding risk to the recovery forecasts. It is vital that the country has a common, traveller-based approach to facilitate the ability to do business and to travel as we enter into 2022.

We are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for corporate travel, but letโ€™s be cautious going forward!