New research by Collinson has found that four in five business travellers have seen their job affected by a lack of cross-border business travel; and a third of respondents stated that not seeing clients face-to-face has negatively affected the way they do business.
As per global statistics, a third of business travellers are stating that the lack of travel has made their company less productive, while 38 per cent of Indian respondents are saying that they have felt unable to do their job effectively.
The survey results – which compare data collected from a total of 18,500 travellers in late 2019 (pre-pandemic) with data collected from 12,607 travellers in late 2020 (during the pandemic) – demonstrate that while the majority of business meetings are now conducted via video call, there is a growing need and desire amongst a large number of business travellers to recommence travel.
From a business perspective, this has been the year of the Zoom call, with 93 per cent of Indian business travellers affected by a lack of cross-border business travel (much higher than the global average of 81 per cent), with 42 per cent saying not seeing their clients and prospects face-to-face has negatively impacted the way they do business.
Around 40 per cent also said not being able to travel for business had made their organisation less productive, while 38 per cent said they’d lost deals because of it.
These new findings demonstrate the economic importance of cross-border business travel.
While it is clear that travel restrictions have impacted business travellers’ roles significantly, as businesses consider restarting cross-border business travel, the challenge remains in making sure employees don’t feel it comes at a cost to their health and wellbeing.
“Like most of the world, our research shows that respondents from India are quite concerned with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing when travelling. In today’s current environment, where business meetings are taking place over Zoom calls, many people have claimed that not seeing their clients and prospects face-to-face has negatively impacted the way they do business,” said Priyanka Lakhani, commercial director Middle East and Africa and Director South Asia, Collinson.