FCM on track for 50% business recovery by year-end

Ecklund: essential for the corporate travel industry to be highly adaptable to rapid change

Travel management company FCM is expecting a significant rebound in its global corporate travel business by year-end, with vaccination programmes well underway in key markets.

The gain in momentum is also leading to an increase in consumer confidence.

Ecklund: essential for the corporate travel industry to be highly adaptable to rapid change

The business, which operates in more than 95 countries, believes sales will continue to increase globally and is targeting 50 per cent of pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. Recent wins for the company include large and high-profile accounts, such as Procter & Gamble and Atos.

Marcus Eklund, FCM global managing director, said: “Based on early signs that vaccines are effective in preventing symptomatic infection, and with healthy vaccine rollout rates in key markets such as Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK, we expect health risks to reduce. In the absence of disruptions such as new strains, this should lead to an easing of government-imposed restrictions on domestic and international travel, and a partial rebound of the global business travel market by year-end.

“Based on our experiences, travel immediately rises by 20-30 per cent when restrictions are relaxed. A healthier rebound will occur if international borders remain open.”

FCM’s diverse customer base is playing a key role in future growth, with recent focus groups indicating high levels of pent-up demand.

Eklund said: “The mining, construction, pharma, energy and resources, FMCG manufacturing industries and their associated supply chains, together with governments and other growth companies, were responsible for most business travel activity during 2020. They will also drive early growth in travel activity this year, as their C-suite, customer-facing and sales executives recommence their traditional customer and team engagement.

Global research has also revealed the emergence of a new hybrid working model, with more than half of all employees expected to work from home several days a month.

As a result, Eklund expects some pre-pandemic travel activity will shift to virtual working models, leading to further consolidation in the corporate travel industry, as organisations increasingly seek travel management providers that are secure and demonstrate a strong duty of care.

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