Back To Business

While more companies report that there is a willingness and actual return to business travel — with domestic travel taking the lead — government restrictions on international travel continue to hinder the ability for companies to conduct key business functions.

That’s the findings of the most recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

In it, the GBTA found a 12% increase compared to last month in companies opening travel and fewer companies suspending or cancelling all travel. Domestic business travel is now widely allowed and corporate bookings and travel spend continues to rise month on month.

And three in four (77%) GBTA members and stakeholders feel their employees are ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to travel for business in the current environment.

However, half (52%) of GBTA respondents report that government policies and restrictions relating to international business travel continue to impact their companies’ ability to conduct important business functions such as networking, business prospecting, planning and sales meetings.

Suzanne Neufang, CEO GBTA, observed that: “There is clearly an appetite to resume non-essential business travel and in-person meetings to promote collaboration, networking and business opportunities. And interestingly, it doesn’t appear that cost savings are necessarily a key driver in waiting to get travellers back out on the road. However, government policies and restrictions on international travel continue to hinder progress in pursuing activities so important to conducting business.”

  • OPTIMISM STEADY: GBTA poll respondents continue to be optimistic about the industry’s path to recovery. Half (54%) report they feel more optimistic compared to a month ago whereas two in five (40%) say they feel the same. Only six percent say they feel more pessimistic about the industry’s path to recovery. 
  • WILLINGNESS TO TRAVEL: Three in four (77%) GBTA members and stakeholders feel their employees are ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to travel for business in the current environment. The remaining members feel their employees are not willing (4%), are neutral (12%) or are unsure (7%) of their willingness to travel for business. And desire to serve their customers is a key driver, with greater willingness to travel for sales and account management (59%) and service trips (56%).
  • DOMESTIC DOMINATES: Corporate positions concerning business travel vary. And GBTA respondents report that 57% of non-essential domestic business trips are usually or sometimes allowed, compared to 26% for non-essential international business trips. 
  • GETTING BACK OUT THERE: Of the companies that suspended most domestic business trips, nine in 10 plan to resume domestic travel in the near future or are considering resuming domestic travel but have no definite plans. Three in ten plan to resume international travel within 1-3 months and half are considering resuming international travel soon but have no definite plans. One in ten do not plan to resume international business travel in the near future.

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