GBTA: Domestic and essential business travel to resume soon

Companies are optimistic about new travel bookings

Higher levels of optimism in the business travel sector have started to appear according to new research by the Global Business Travel Association.

NEW RESEARCH BY the Global Business Travel Association indicates there is renewed optimism in the business travel sector. Domestic and essential business travel are likely to resume soon with industry standardized health and safety standards.

In the U.S., 38 percent of the companies responding to the poll said they plan to resume travel in the next three months. Another 38 percent is considering resuming travel soon, but 13 percent do not want to travel immediately, the research said.

“For the first time since the start of the pandemic, supplier members are starting to see some uplift in bookings. This positive trend is supported by the slight increase in member companies looking to restart travel in the short term of one to three months,” said Scott Solombrino, GBTA’s CEO. “To continue this trend there is strong support from GBTA member companies who want consistent health and safety measures for every travel vertical. This is critical, and GBTA has been lobbying intensely on behalf of members, we have already seen great collaborative progress in the hotel and airline sectors.”

GBTA conducted the poll among its membership from June 9 to 14. It received responses from 1,708 member companies globally.

The poll found that 49 percent of respondents plan to resume domestic travel within the next three months and 22 percent plan to resume all travel in the next one to three months as well. According to the new poll, 44 percent of the companies are allowing some essential travel shortly when compared to 37 percent in the previous poll on May 20.

Most companies, 86 percent, feel the business travel industry has experienced the worst in terms of cancelled flights, 78 percent said hotel operations suspension, 52 percent said layoffs/furloughs, and 47 percent revenue impact. However, one in three, or 31 percent, believe the worst is yet to come in terms of layoffs/furloughs and 34 percent said it was revenue loss.

According to the research, 46 percent of travel suppliers and travel management companies reported seeing an increase in bookings, while one in four, or 40 percent, said their bookings have remained the same. Four in ten, or 40 percent, said they feel more optimistic than they were the previous week compared to 28 percent who felt the same in the previous GBTA coronavirus poll.

Travel data website Fuel’s third COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Study found that 62 percent of respondents said that they will take a vacation in 2020 and 16 percent said they would in 2021.