Border Opening Set To Accelerate Biz Travel

There is lots of optimism in the business travel sector these days, with the latest poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) finding that half (52%) of industry respondents reported more optimism compared to September.

October also saw an increase to 66% of those polled who said their companies are allowing non-essential domestic business travel and, in a high for the year, 42% are now also allowing international travel, while more than half of suppliers (55%) say their bookings from corporate customers increased from last month.

Three in four (74%) indicated support for the opening of U.S. borders (now slated for November 8) with the required protocols, with seven in 10 expecting an increase in international business travel over the next six months as a result.

GBTA members and stakeholders strongly agree that reduced infection rates and increased vaccinations will accelerate business travel at their company, with 59% indicating increased vaccination rates around the world would be a top driver.

Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA, observed: “There’s still a road ahead for recovery but we’re delighted to see the opening up of borders and a return to non-essential business travel. While we have seen ever-increasing domestic and short-haul travel, a more accelerated recovery has been hindered by the lack of international trans-Atlantic travel.”

Neufang continued: “The opening of the much-anticipated Europe and UK to U.S. travel corridors, as well as the opening of land borders to Canada and Mexico, will give a much-needed boost to the business travel ecosystem and global economy.”

And she made it clear that: “Safety and duty of care continue to be of upmost importance to our members, who overwhelmingly support vaccine programs as well as smart travel policies to ensure a safe return to business travel, meetings and events.”

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