The results of GBTA’s latest poll should come as no surprise: in the wake of the coronavirus, the health and safety of employees has become a top priority for travel buyers. This affects companies’ travel policies, supplier expectations regarding cleanliness and safety protocols, and assumptions about the return of travel.
From July 7-13, 2020, GBTA polled its membership on the effects of the coronavirus on business travel. Here are the results based on 2,167 responses worldwide.
Changes to travel policies
Over half of travel buyers reported that their company has revised its travel policy, and 70% characterize those changes as “somewhat” or “a lot.”
Some of the most common changes include:
- New rules about pre-trip approval (53%)
- More frequent or detailed pre-trip communications or briefings (35%)
- Collecting information about the health of employee travelers (24%)
- Clarifying or changing rules about ticket credits/unused tickets (22%)
- New rules about booking channels, such as requiring travelers to use a TMC (20%)
Overwhelmingly, the changes in travel policies focus on the health and safety of business travelers.
From airlines to hotels, businesses in the travel industry have been eager to communicate their new sanitation guidelines and safety protocols. The majority of travel buyers are happy with the level of communication and information regarding these efforts, but a significant portion believes they could benefit from even more.
- 68% are satisfied with the level of information about supplier cleaning and sanitation practices while 24% would still like more
- 49% are satisfied with the level of information about operational changes (like flight rescheduling or new check-in procedures) while 37% would still like more
It has never been more important for businesses to be open and transparent about their cleanliness standards and safety protocols.
Returning to travel
Even as we see a spike in coronavirus cases around the world, many companies are still considering a return to travel. Survey responses included:
- 14% plan to resume all travel in the next 1-3 months (to any country or region)
- 49% are considering resuming all travel but do not have definite plans in place
- 18% do not plan to resume all travel in the near future
- 19% are unsure
The responses also vary based on where companies are located as well as where they are planning to travel to:
- 44% expect domestic travel to resume within 2-3 months (77% of respondents in Europe and 37% of respondents in North America)
- 16% expect international travel to resume within 2-3 months (33% of respondents in Europe and 13% of respondents in North America)
- 34% expect domestic travel to resume within 6-8 months
- 40% expect international travel to resume within 6-8 months
- 15% are unsure when domestic travel will resume
- 25% are unsure when international travel will resume
The experts at Professional Travel are here to help you navigate the new normal and prioritize the health and safety of your business travelers. Contact us today to find out how we can support your travel program.
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