A study released FCM Travel Solutions in September has revealed a
steady rebound for corporate travel, with 50 per cent of surveyed
organisations already travelling or booking reservations in the near
Zeroing in on Asia, the financial services, science and technology,
education and training, mining and construction sectors are among the
first to resume travel. Across industries, client-facing roles such as
sales, customer management and project workforce have also become the
first to travel again.
Once governments reopen borders and restrictions such as quarantines
are lifted, 90 per cent of respondents indicated a willingness to travel
within three months of the relaxed measures, but for domestic and
short-haul international flights only.
Actual trip numbers however, might prove way lower, since just 26 per
cent of businesses plan to return to pre-Covid levels for domestic
travel in 2021. This means that from six to eight business trips per
traveller in pre-Covid days, this will drop to three to four trips per
traveller per year until 2023.
Of useful mention is how current traveller confidence has been
redefined as ‘informed’, ‘willing’, ‘able’ and ‘ready’, as well as four
factors driving business travel once government restrictions ease. These
are safety and viability (or when vaccine is found or virus
eradicated), traveller confidence and readiness, business essential
criteria, and budget with ROI.
Following duty of care, travel costs are a major concern – largely
due to slashed budgets and the expected rise in the cost of travel as
airlines and hotels look to recover their losses.
“Surveyed businesses repeatedly stressed the challenge they face to
remain informed… While there is now more awareness around how to stay
safe, access to intelligent risk management tools is seen as essential
to keep both employers and travellers informed, prepared and able to
react quickly,” the report stated.
Companies interviewed also stressed the importance of TMCs, who’ll
need to combine travel technology and expert industry knowledge to drive
communication on consistent and clear updates on Covid-19. 8.8 out of
10 businesses surveyed indicated how working closely with their TMCs
kept them ‘informed’ and ‘empowered’.
As for future travel buying behaviours? If the results of the survey
are right, then suppliers such as airlines, hotels, car/ground transfers
can expect shortened purchase windows, and are advised to continue with
flexible fares and avoid overnight requirements. Virtual and hybrid
meetings will also continue as travel gradually resumes.
These results are from the ‘State of the Market’ survey by global
TMC, FCM Travel Solutions, reflecting business' travel sentiments over a
five month period from April to August 2020. A total of 2,320 in the
travel trade responded, ranging across business travel managers, bookers
and travellers in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, EMEA and the