According to the latest research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) business travel has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, coming to a halt across the globe.
Commenting on the findings of its fifth poll, the GBTA’s chief operating officer and executive director, Scott Solombrino said: “With the spread of the coronavirus and many countries under quarantine and other restrictions, it is not surprising that business travel has come to a halt. The toll in terms of public health and the global economy cannot be overstated. We applaud government actions and financial assistance to help address the global crisis and stabilize global economies. The survey shows that travelers are eager to get back on the road, which is a positive sign for future business travel. Once this pandemic is successfully combatted, business travel can return to being a positive economic driver of the global economy.”
GBTA’s poll reveals that business travel has come to a halt across the globe.
Companies are cancelling or suspending almost all business travel regardless of country or region. GBTA members report their companies have canceled or suspended “all” or “most” business trips to:
!!! China – 99% cancelled or suspended
!!! Hong Kong – 99% cancelled or suspended
!!! Taiwan – 98% cancelled or suspended
!!! Other Asia-Pacific countries (e.g., Japan, South Korea and Malaysia) – 98% cancelled or suspended
!!! Europe – 97% cancelled or suspended
!!! Middle East/Africa – 98% cancelled or suspended
!!! Latin America – 97% cancelled or suspended
!!! Canada – 95% cancelled or suspended
!!! United States – 94% cancelled or suspended
!!! Almost every GBTA member company (98%) reports cancelling and/or suspending all international business travel. In addition, most (92%) report they have canceled or suspended all or most domestic travel.
!!! Most GBTA members based in the United States (93%) and Europe (92%) report their company has cancelled or suspended all or most domestic business travel. On average, GBTA travel buyers estimate their company has cancelled 92% of business trips booked for March and April 2020.
!!! GBTA members vary in terms of when they expect business travel to resume. Slightly more than half expect travel to resume within the next two (32%) or three (19%) months, while 16% are unsure.
!!! Almost every travel company (96%) characterizes the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as significant. Two-thirds of GBTA members who work for suppliers and/or travel management companies (TMC) report their company has laid off (69%), furloughed (66%) and cut staff salaries (66%) as a result of the pandemic. On average, suppliers and TMCs who have laid off or furloughed employees estimate that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the employees at their companies have been affected by these actions.
!!! When asked to assess employee willingness to travel once restrictions are lifted, the majority of GBTA member companies expect most (33%) or some (33%) employees will be willing to travel. A much smaller proportion anticipates unwillingness on the part of some (13%) or most (2%) employees to travel.
* The coronavirus has led many companies to host virtual meetings. the vast majority of GBTA member companies report they use virtual meetings frequently (83%) or occasionally (11%) due to physical distancing concerns.
* GBTA member companies continue to restrict business travel. More than half (55%) report they have cancelled or suspended all business travel. Another 41% report their company has cancelled or suspended all non-essential trips but allows some essential travel.
!!! GBTA member companies work to help protect employees from coronavirus including instituting work from home policies (86%), providing updated health and safety information (76%), and developing contingency plans to get work done such as teleconferences and video meetings (74%). In addition, some GBTA member companies report they have limited the number of people who work in the office (49%) and/or closed the office entirely (42%). Other actions include temporarily closing all but essential departments (34%) and moving some employees to new locations (13%).
!!! A majority of GBTA members (62%) expect the coronavirus will change the way their company conducts business once the threat is over.
Go to www.gbta.org for more.