News

Face-to-face meetings still preferable despite pandemic

24 Sep 2020 by BusinessTraveller
Business meeting (istock.com/Goodboy Picture Company)

The Covid-19 pandemic may have severely restricted global travel over the last six months, but business travellers remain convinced of the need for face-to-face meetings, according to our new survey.

Conducted as part of a wider Future of Business Travel report produced in partnership with travel trend forecasting agency Globetrender and American Express Global Business Travel, the survey polled 2,020 Business Traveller readers worldwide on their sentiments in relation to the pandemic.

More than three quarters of respondents said that they believe face-to-face meetings for sales and pitching are preferable to remote working, while six out of ten business travellers said that the majority of deals and decisions cannot be made virtually. However the majority of readers (78 per cent) said they would not shake hands in a meeting.

Nearly 40 per cent of respondents expect to start travelling again before the end of 2020, but quarantine remains a concern, with 91 per cent stating that they would be less likely to travel if they were required to quarantine in their destination.

Vaccine - istock.com/fpm

Unsurprisingly, a vaccine would make most of our readers (80 per cent) more likely to travel, although nearly as many (75 per cent) said that travelling in business or first class would also increase the chances of them choosing to get back on the road.

Familiar brands are also set to play a part in easing travellers back into travel, with 87 per cent stating they are likely to stick with airlines they know when they start to travel again, and 80 per cent likely to stay at familiar hotels.

The full results of the survey are detailed in The Future of Business Travel Report. (Download for free.)

The report highlights nine emerging trends that will shape the future of business travel, including Employee Empowerment, Smartphone Centricity and Optimised Facetime.

It also features case studies with companies including Virgin Atlantic, as well as interviews with leading industry executives such as Andrew Crawley, chief commercial officer for American Express Global Business Travel.

Commenting on the results of the survey Tom Otley, editorial director of Business Traveller, said:

“The research we have undertaken and which is highlighted in this report shows business travellers are keen to get back to travelling. What’s causing delay is the uncertainty created by travel bans and the inconsistent measures – and messages – around testing. There is cause for optimism, but it will take concerted action by the relevant authorities for this to translate into more people travelling for business.”

globetrender.com, amexglobalbusinesstravel.com

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Cover of November 2020 - January 2021 edition of Business Traveller
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