Fifty percent of organisations have started travelling again, but with stipulations, according to the third phase of a combined multinational ‘State of the Market’ survey by global TMC, FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.
The third stage, which was conducted by FCM’s consulting arm 4th Dimension (4D), consisted of one-to-one in-depth interviews in August 2020 with 250 of FCM’s multi-national large-scale clients, plus Corporate Traveller and FCBT’s SME customers globally, representing over 60 countries where each TMC manages their travel.
The workshops examined a new path forward for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, as corporate travel resumes amid new safety and hygiene requirements and protocols. It follows on from the results of two State of the Market surveys released in May and June, both conducted by 4D among 2,320 business travel managers, bookers and travellers in EMEA, Asia, the Americas, India, Australia and New Zealand, to gauge their sentiments on business travel during the COVID-19 crisis.
While 50% of respondents said they have employees already travelling or booking reservations to travel in the near future, resuming travel will be different for everyone. The combined results of the State of the Market research (April to August 2020) shows that over 90% of businesses indicated that they planned to travel domestically and short haul international flights, within three months of governments re-opening borders and lifting restrictions such as quarantine.
Yet the number of trips taken will likely be lower, as only 26% of businesses are planning to return to their pre-COVID-19 levels for domestic travel during 2021. The remaining 74% of businesses predict reduced domestic travel for the immediate year ahead. Pre-COVID the average number of business trips per traveller was 6-8 per year; this number is likely to fall between 3 and 4 trips per person, per year until 2023.
Clients still have long-haul travel plans on hold indefinitely, as they assess the balance between need and safety. In particular, national businesses in USA, Australia, China and New Zealand were less likely to have long-haul international plans for 2021, indicating only domestic and short-haul international travel will be planned for next year.
Twenty nine percent of respondents from China said they won’t be travelling long haul, while 22% of respondents in New Zealand, 16% in Australia and 7% in the USA indicated the same.