Travel to resume ‘within three months’, finds GBTA survey

Corporate travel may have come to a halt but just over half Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) members expect travel to resume within three months.

A GBTA survey found 51% foresee a resumption of corporate travel within this time period, 32% in two months and 19% within three.

The survey was conducted at the start of April.

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Two-thirds of the near 1,000 respondents said they expected at least some employees to be willing to travel when restrictions are raised.

One third (33%) expected ‘most’ to be willing to travel and an additional 33% thought ‘some’ would be willing.

The poll found companies had cancelled or suspended almost all corporate travel regardless of region, with 99% cancelled or suspended in China, 98% in Asia-Pacific countries, the Middle East and Africa, 97% in Europe and 94% in the US.

An overwhelming majority reported using virtual meetings frequently (83%), and work-from-home policies (86%).

Almost two-thirds (62%) said they expect the coronavirus to change the way their company conducts business once the crisis is over.

Two-thirds (69%) of respondents from travel suppliers or travel management companies reported their companies had laid off staff and 66% sent staff on furlough, with a similar proportion (66%) cutting salaries.

GBTA chief operating officer and executive director Scott Solombrino said: “Business travel has come to a halt.

“[But] the survey shows travellers are eager to get back on the road, which is a positive sign.

“Once this pandemic is successfully combatted, business travel can return to being an economic driver of the global economy.”

GBTA conducted the poll on April 1-4, receiving responses from almost 1,000 member companies.

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