GBTA members confident in resumption of business travel with heightened hygiene levels

Up to 11 per cent of member companies of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) polled between May 13 and 15 say they plan to resume corporate travel to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific countries in the near future.

In addition, between 34 and 36 per cent of the 1,705 respondents polled indicate they are considering resuming travel in the near future, but had no definite plans.

Health and safety are top of mind for companies sending their staff on essential business trips

For member companies committed to resuming travel, China and Asia-Pacific had an 11 per cent score, while it was nine per cent each for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

According to GBTA, 62 per cent of member companies polled “believe most or some employees will be willing to travel after restrictions are lifted”.

Health and safety “are now of significant importance as the industry tries to gain momentum for recovery,” GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino said, adding that the new research showed “member companies want to see several health and safety steps taken at every stage of the travel process”.

As to the top action that would make member companies feel more comfortable about traveller health and safety, 76 per cent said it was an increase in the cleaning and sanitation protocols of airlines, and 80 per cent and 70 per cent respectively said it was an increase in the cleaning standards of hotels and ground transportation.

According to the poll, the second top action was the wearing of masks and providing hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes; with 60 per cent and 55 per cent respectively saying it was necessary for airline travel and hotel staff to do so, while 68 per cent said ground transportation services need to provide hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes.

As for the third top action, 59 per cent of member companies wanted the middle seat empty, 53 per cent wanted to see hotels provide staff additional Covid-19 sanitary training, and 58 per cent required drivers to wear masks and gloves.

With 54 per cent of companies “considering resuming all travel in the future”, Solombrino commented that it was “a positive, albeit small, sign that we are finally heading in the right direction”.

GBTA, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organisation, has a global membership of 9,000-plus member companies and a network of 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts.

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