Organizations will take a phased approach to resuming business travel over the next 12 months, and the easing or border restrictions will play a key role in its facilitation, found a survey by global TMC, FCM Travel Solutions, and sister SME-specialist business travel provider Corporate Traveller.
Of the 1,600 business travel managers, bookers and travellers surveyed, 70% said the easing or complete lifting of border restrictions was the primary trigger for resuming business travel, closely followed by organizational endorsement that it is safe to travel, at 68%.
However, only half of respondents believe that their business travel volumes will eventually reach pre-coronavirus levels.
All told, 70% expect business travel to increase gradually, with 40% believing it will reach its peak domestically in one to three months and 32% believing it will reach its peak internationally in six to twelve months.
Survey participants said business travel recovery will be led by Asia and EMEA, with 50% of respondents in Asia saying they have already begun booking domestic travel. This is due to faster opening of borders intra region and easier movement geographically compared to the rest of the world.
The highest level of uncertainty around when domestic and international business travel will resume was in the Americas, with 28% of respondents saying they did not know when travel would return.
Other notable findings include:
- Companies in the mining and construction sectors indicate the fastest return to travel
- Construction, training & education and financial services sectors indicate increasing business travel within first six months, due to a shorter lead time in arranging business travel
- Winning new business and managing existing client relationships are the two dominant business activities motivating organizations to a return to travel
- Asked whether changes implemented during COVID-19 will reduce their need for business travel, there was a 50/50 split between participants agreeing or disagreeing
This is FCM’s second iteration of the study among the same 1,600 participants in the Americas, EMEA, Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand. The first study was conducted last month. The group says it will re-conduct the survey to understand how sentiments on business travel are changing.
“The business travel landscape and the needs of our customers have changed beyond all recognition over the last few months and business travel conditions will continue to evolve and shift as everyone comes out the other side of the global pandemic,” said Charlene Leiss, President of Flight Centre Travel Group, Americas
“It’s vital that FCM and our sister TMC Corporate Traveller understand if and how our clients in each market, and industry sectors will start to travel again, and their primary concerns and objectives when they do so.”
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ’s newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she’s new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.