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14 May 2020

Return to business travel to drive economic recovery

Seventy eight per cent of corporate travel customers globally believe that travel restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19 have had a negative impact on business growth, supporting the key role travel will play in economic recovery.

The finding comes from a global survey of Corporate Travel Management (CTM) customers.
In all of CTM’s operating regions, customers were experiencing a downward trend in financial performance (68 per cent of respondents globally) and the ability to support and engage with customers and employees (65 per cent of respondents globally).

CTM Managing Director, Jamie Pherous said, “The survey findings reinforce the important role that corporate travel plays in driving business performance and highlights how it will contribute to economic recovery.”

The survey found that travel restrictions have led to project delays and impacted new business development, relationship building and training for customers and employees.

“These trends all need to be reversed for business to recover, and our customers are telling us they are keen to return to business travel as long as they are confident their people are safe,” he said.

Just 14 per cent of CTM’s corporate customers globally believe that changes to their company’s travel policies made in relation to COVID-19 would be permanent, and the most common permanent changes included implementing additional travel approval measures and specific measures for pandemics.

“People want to get back out there, it’s part of the desire to return to a sense of normality and travelling to spend time with customers and employees is an important part of that. It’s our role to provide customers with the information they need to get back on the road safely and cost effectively moving forward.”

CTM customers said government travel advice about border controls, quarantine measures and destination health advice, and traveler tracking and emergency communication tools would be key to enabling a safe and effective return to business travel.

Mr. Pherous said that with travel restrictions expected to ease over the coming months, CTM was integrating additional airline data into its proprietary online booking tool, Lightning, to allow customers to feel confident about their return to business travel.

“The data we are integrating into our point of sale tools provides travel arrangers with crucial airline information relating to hygiene and cleanliness, health screening, passenger and crew well-being and flexible conditions for the services they are booking, at the time of booking, to ensure travelers feel confident that they are safe to travel,” he said.

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