ALEXANDRIA, VA — The latest results from the Global Business Travel Association’s frequent surveys show “small signs of optimism”, says the organization.
The GBTA is now up to its seventh poll, gauging the impact of COVID-19 on business travel. Conducted among the GBTA’s membership May 13-15, the poll received responses from 1,705 member companies throughout the world.
“People aren’t going to travel until they feel safe. Our member companies want to see several health and safety steps taken at every stage of the travel process – from ground transportation to airlines, to hotels. As restrictions across the globe begin to lift, small green shoots of optimism are sprouting in the industry with more than half (54%) of companies considering resuming all travel in the near future. That is a positive, albeit small, sign that we are finally headed in the right direction,” said GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino.
Here’s a look at the findings…
- One in four GBTA member companies report their company plans to resume travel to the U.S. (28%) and/or Canada (24%) in the near future.
- Four in 10 report their company is considering resuming travel to the U.S. (44%), Europe (43%) and Canada (41%) in the near future, but currently do not have definitive plans about when travel will resume.
- Half (54%) of GBTA member companies are considering resuming all travel (regardless of country or region) in the near future, although they do not currently have definitive plans for when it will resume. One in 10 (14%) GBTA member companies report they do not plan to resume all travel in the near future.
- Many GBTA member companies report they allow some essential business travel. Almost one in four (37%) allow for some essential business travel, while over half (56%) have canceled or suspended all business travel.
- Most frequently cited for hotel health and safety protocols that would need to be in place to make GBTA member companies feel safe sending their employees back out on the road are: increase cleaning standards to exceed current cleaning protocols (80%), require employees to wear face masks (55%), provide additional staff training about COVID-19 sanitary practices and incident reporting (53%), increase communication about hotel sanitation practices (44%), require guests wear face masks in common areas (43%) and enforce physical distancing guidelines (43%)
- For air travel, GBTA members say they’re looking for: increase airplane cleaning standards to ensure every traveller touchpoint is sanitized before each flight (76%), require passengers to wear face masks (60%), keep the middle seats empty (59%), require employees wear face masks and gloves (52%) and provide all passengers with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (47%). Other actions airlines can take to help alleviate health and safety concerns include: provide additional staff training about COVID-19 sanitary practices and incident reporting (27%); provide all passengers with face masks (23%); and suspend or reduce in-flight food and beverage service (17%)