Business travel will resume only when safe according to a new poll from FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller. The majority of companies are also looking to revamp their travel policies to reflect increased duty of care considerations post Covid-19.
Asked to rank which triggers would prompt resuming business travel, easing or lifting border restrictions still came top with 93 per cent of respondents saying it has significant or some impact. However, the second trigger (89 per cent) is ‘our organisation deems it safe to travel and this is reflected in our travel policy’.
In terms of changes to travel policy post Covid-19, 59 per cent of participants said that traveller and supplier health and hygiene factors would be top priority.
Duty of care obligations ranked the second most dominant area for change (44 per cent of respondents).
A total 1600 business travel managers, bookers and travellers at FCM’s multinational large-scale clients and Corporate Traveller’s SME customers in EMEA, Asia, the Americas, India, Australia and New Zealand were surveyed again in the second poll in June 2020.
The purpose of repeating the study within one month of the first poll was to enable both TMCs to gauge any shift in clients’ business travel intentions as countries continue to review lockdown restrictions, implement quarantine periods or air corridors, and airlines and hotels introduce hygiene measures.
“The second poll of our State of the Market survey showed that there is definitely an increasing sense of our clients needing to travel, but whilst the situation around Covid-19 remains unpredictable, with possible second waves and local lockdowns, it’s clear that duty of care, hygiene and safety are going to be the dominant considerations for our customers going forwards,” said John Morhous, Chief Experience Officer for FCM and Corporate Traveller.
To address the concerns of organisations, travel management companies are rolling out new products for travellers and travel managers.
In addition, industry associations are encouraging a unified response from governments and regulatory authorities, with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) promoting its“Take-Off” guidelines which include mask wearing throughout the travel process, sanitisation, health declarations and social distancing where possible.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is lobbying against quarantines.