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Rise in air tax could provoke video conference boom

The chancellor’s reluctance to bring down the cost of airline tax during the budget announcement could have a positive effect in the world of video conferencing, it has been claimed.

Citing the thoughts of Melissa Fremeijer, a senior research analyst at intelligence firm IDC, Tech Eye reports that the eight per cent hike in plane taxes could make video conferencing a cheap alternative to flying.

Considering that oil prices have also affected the cost of flying, this could make the case all the more likely, Fremeijer said.

“The EU has the Emissions Trade System, which costs airlines and airports money. They also need to ensure that emissions meet the agreed Kyoto deal. There’s more criteria for companies to now look at web conferencing,” the analyst previously told ChannelBiz UK.

She pointed to video conferences rapid growth figures in 2011 to back up her claim, which grew by around 20 per cent. Industry reports also confirm that travel cost is also the most frequently cited business reason for turning to video conferencing facilities.

In addition, video conferencing helps those who are in several geographical locations get in touch quickly, without the need to travel.

“By enabling a near face-to-face quality meeting experience involving multiple, geographically dispersed participants, business operations are significantly accelerated. This enables companies to bring new products or services to market more quickly, thus delivering a tangible competitive advantage,” Ms Fremeijer explained.

Other benefits that it can bring to a company include making employees happier by allowing them more time to spend with their families. It can also make them mentally fitter by removing the stresses and fatigue of travel, the expert added.