Christoph Carnier

President of VDR the Business Travel Association of Germany,
Senior Director – Head of Procurement Category Travel, Fleet & Events, Merck KGaA


The Future of Business Travel:
Current Mobility Management Issues and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Business Travel Market

Never before have the economy and society had less planning reliability than in 2020 as a result of the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus. When the financial crisis of 2008–2009 brought new challenges for business travel managers, companies realised how essential they were as multitaskers as well as strategically and operationally important bridge-builders. And this year again, they are performing a balancing act between cancellations, capacity bottlenecks and even the reorganisation of entire departments. Nevertheless, the climate crisis is and will remain the other primary area of focus. A potentially positive connection between the two has emerged in recent months. Crisis creates opportunity: in the form of less commuting due to more people working from home; better work-life balance; and lower costs for trips to meetings, training courses and conferences, as they can now be organised either digitally or as hybrids. A further positive side-effect is lower carbon emissions due to novel reorganisation of everyday life and mobility.

This presentation, largely based on the 18th VDR Business Travel Report, offers facts, figures, trends, and predictions of mood, including for the world post-COVID. In addition, the more up-to-the-minute regular VDR member surveys are used to address COVID-specific topics.

You can see PPT slide here.

After completing his training as a travel agent in Darmstadt, Christoph Carnier joined Travel Management at Merck in 1992. Since 2008, he has headed the Global Travel Management there as Senior Director Travel, Fleet & Events. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the German Business Travel Association VDR, of which he was elected President in 2019.