Business travel recovery ‘entrenched’, says poll Business travel recovery ‘entrenched’, says poll

Biz travel recovery surging

Business travel is surging forward, international travel is returning and despite new challenges, industry recovery is entrenched, according to the latest Business Travel Recovery Poll by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

In addition, corporate travel policies are undergoing a revamp and employees are broadly willing to travel for business, the poll suggests.

‘We’re seeing significant gains in the return of business travel, especially over the past month or two. GBTA’s global data shows more companies are allowing domestic and now also international employee travel. Booking levels and travel spending continue to return, and there’s high levels of optimism and employee willingness to travel for business. This comes even as the industry faces challenges beyond Covid-19 including rising fuel prices, inflation, supply chain disruption and war in Ukraine,’ says Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. 

The number of companies reporting they at least sometimes allow non-essential domestic business travel has increased to 86%, up from 73% in GBTA’s February poll. International travel made a big jump with 74% reporting their company now allows it, up 26 percentage points from February.

In April a majority (88%) of suppliers and travel management companies (TMCs) report their bookings have increased in the month leading up to the poll. This is much higher than the share who said the same in February (45%). On average, travel buyers say their company’s travel bookings are currently at 56% of the pre-pandemic level, up 22 points from February.

Ninety four percent of GBTA buyers and procurement professionals feel their employees are ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to travel for business in the current environment, up from 82% in the February poll.

To mask or not to mask...

Global sentiment around mask mandates on commercial airplanes varies among corporate travellers, according to the April poll by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Two in five GBTA stakeholders (41%) say governments should require passengers to wear masks on airplanes, while a third (32%) feel each airline should be allowed to decide if passengers are required to wear masks. One in five (20%) feel governments should prohibit mask mandates
(ie allow passengers to fly on any airline without masks).   

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