Cycling has several advantages, you get exercise, you reduce the emission of CO2 and other unhealthy substances and the bicycle takes up less space than a car. Cycling is increasing in the Netherlands, but where should we park all those bicycles? Streets and sidewalks are getting narrower and there is less and less space. It is an often seen street scene, bicycles crammed together and bicycles that stand in the way here and there on the sidewalk, for example. People with, for example, rollators and prams experience this nuisance because they can no longer pass. Because cycling is a good alternative to the car, more and more people are cycling. A car takes up much more space than a bicycle, but as a cyclist you probably often wonder: where do I leave my bicycle?
In more and more cities, temporary tests are being carried out by the municipality with so-called bicycle ramps. These bicycle ramps are temporarily placed somewhere as a test and eventually residents and the municipality will decide whether the platform should remain in place or be moved to another location. Perhaps you have never heard of it, a bicycle platform is a shelf with 4 or 5 bicycle racks on which eight to ten bicycles can be parked. This platform can be placed on a car parking space, it takes up exactly one parking space. Municipalities like 's-Hertogenbosch, Arnhem, Barneveld, The Hague and Leiden have already carried out tests with the installation of the bicycle ramps. Residents of various municipalities could apply for a bicycle platform, for example if there was a need for extra parking spaces for bicycles.
Recent research by travel industry organization ANVR among customers of business travel organizing companies shows that once the travel restrictions are lifted, the business travel market will show a rapid recovery, but it will change. For example, due to the digital alternatives that have been (re)discovered, travel will not be shorter, but less, with the company paying more attention to more sustainable travel, CO2 compensation and more care for the health of the traveling employee. This represents a great challenge for the business travel organizing companies affiliated with ANVR.
ANVR recently conducted a survey among more than 200 business travelers, employees of multinationals and SME entrepreneurs, and clients of business travel organizing companies affiliated with the ANVR, the so-called TMCs (Travel Management Companies). The findings of the ANVR study are in line with international studies: if restrictions are lifted, both by the Netherlands and by recipient countries, business travel will quickly return. The importance of doing business abroad is evident for the economic development of the Netherlands. Business trips are indispensable here.
Research shows that especially the travel restrictions (69%), which are applied by the Netherlands and destination countries, are currently the biggest bottleneck for restarting the business travel market. Business travelers can already travel to many destinations, especially if they are fully vaccinated. 23% see the bottleneck in health related to the risk of corona and only 7% indicate that the digital possibilities are a reason to carry out fewer business trips. Once these travel restrictions are lifted, 81% expect a short-term (0-2 year) recovery, while 19% expect it to take a little longer.
For the time being, 55% expect to travel less, with the use of digital options being the main reason for 78%. This sentiment could change quickly if restrictions are lifted. A majority do not expect major changes in personal contact.
When people go on a business trip again, there is a need to make the trip more sustainable, according to the research. About 1/3 of the respondents would then like to do more about CO2 compensation, more sustainable transport and more care for the health of the business traveler. Nearly 80% expect to go on business trips for as long as they did before COVID-19. With these developments, 65% see a (different) role for the TMCs; they consider knowledge, advice and expertise to be indispensable. For 31% of the business travelers surveyed, the TMC only arranges the journey and is not expected to change, according to ANVR.
“We see a cautious start to recovery in the business travel market within Europe at the TMCs. But recovery in long-haul destinations will require easing current travel restrictions. The ANVR therefore calls on the cabinet to do so, because it is also possible. And especially now, because the travel sector will have to do without government support from 1 October. Then recovery can go quickly, although that is not 'just' back to the old situation. In view of the need, more attention will be given to Duty of Care and sustainability; a role that the business travel agent can perfectly fulfill.”