Diversification, digitisation and duty of care will be the three key
trends influencing business travel recovery in Asia Pacific (APAC),
according to a new Amadeus report.
The report 'Reboot. Recharge. Rethink Business Travel' surveyed
almost 100 executives from business travel agencies globally, enquiring
about their priorities, needs and business strategies in 2021 and
In APAC, majority of executives showed optimism that business travel
would resume first (38%) or even at the same pace as leisure travel
(74%), with more travel bubble arrangements in sight, such as the twice
delayed Singapore and Hong Kong deal. Resumption is expected to vary
across sectors, with 70% of respondents indicating that marine and
energy companies would restart travel first.
The big question: What does business travel look like going into 2021?
The "most voted" business travel evolution among all respondents, was
the shift from unmanaged to managed travel. With travel restrictions
and border closures constantly updated across markets, the need for
real-time information on quarantine requirements, schedule changes and
route management tied to the establishment of travel bubbles will be
In driving business travel demand, more than one third (39%) of
respondents indicated that only by removing mandatory quarantine periods
— coupled with an effective vaccine — would business travel rebound in a
Travel budgets, while a key driver for business travel post-Covid,
are not considered as important as duty of care, risk management and
Companies in APAC are predicted to prefer bigger travel names that
have in place robust and regulated safety standards. Just 24% believe
travel policies will be a key driver, compared to a 48% global score.
But at the end of the day, the report showed respondents' greatest worry: Survival.
More than 60% of respondents said cost optimisation would be their
top priority in the mid-term, with a focus on operational optimisation
using automation and digitisation. Other factors: building critical
workforce capabilities to manage new technology and deliver better
“For our customers, technology is providing the opportunity to evolve
at a pace that was never possible just a few decades ago. Flexible,
scalable and cloud-enabled tools coupled with agile working practices
allow companies to develop new innovations quickly to meet the new
demands placed on them due to the pandemic. Data-led artificial
intelligence and machine learning can speed up operational and
commercial readiness at an unprecedented pace. Recovery will come.
Rethinking travel is the first step,” said Renaud Nicolle, vice
president of Business Travel APAC, Amadeus.