Business Travel News Europe 5/28/2020
Source: BCD Travel
Looking ahead to the restart of travel, two-thirds of business travelers say they are most concerned about quarantine measures following their trips, social distancing and the cleanliness of their environment, according to a survey of 1,260 travelers worldwide by BCD Travel.
The survey revealed the impact of Covid-19, with 76 per cent of respondents saying their company had suspended all business travel and 32 per cent saying only essential travel was allowed. Seven in ten had trips planned during the time the virus started affecting their region, with 67 per cent of those reporting their trip was cancelled or postponed. Thirty per cent shifted their meeting to a virtual platform and only 3 per cent still took place. Of those that managed to hit the road during the pandemic, the majority (72 per cent) said they were able to complete their trips as planned.
When asked about their preferred communication channels for receiving new policies or actions from their travel departments, 92 per cent said they want to receive such communication via email. Half (52 per cent) preferred their corporate intranet or portal and 43 per cent chose messaging via their mobile travel app.
Looking ahead to the restart of business travel, respondents shared their views on various measures by suppliers to ensure their safety. For airports and airlines, nine out of ten rated frequent disinfection as extremely or very important, followed by new boarding procedures and empty seats on aircraft to accommodate social distancing. When it comes to hotels, 80 per cent rated enhanced cleaning protocols at the top of their list, followed by online check-in and digital room keys, as well as the mandatory use of masks by hotel guests and employees. Regulatory measures across the travel ecosystem such as the use of contactless payments (67 per cent) and infrared cameras to measure body temperature (58 per cent) were also rated as important.
“These recent findings on traveler expectations help navigate the new future of business travel,” said Mike Janssen, global chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for BCD Travel. “Incorporating travelers’ priorities for health and safety measures into sourcing strategies is key. For the time being, services that can ensure safer travel will replace price as the deciding factor for travel managers. In addition, delivering the right information at the right time will help travelers’ peace of mind as they start getting back on the road.”
New tickets bought through June 30 for any travel date can be exchanged for travel within a year of the date the original ticket was issued.
The airline has extended change fee waivers to cover tickets purchased through June 30 for travel through Sept. 30.