Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Higher levels of optimism in the business travel sector have started to appear according to new research issued by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Domestic and essential business travel will likely resume first, especially with industry standardized health and safety standards.


To continue to understand the effects of COVID-19 on business travel, GBTA conducted its eighth poll among membership from June 9-14, 2020. GBTA received responses from 1,708 member companies throughout the world. View the entire poll results here.

While business travel continues to stall, there are some signs companies are slowly beginning to reconsider. The poll reveals half (49 percent) of companies plan to resume domestic travel in the near future (1-3 months) and one in five (22 percent) plan to resume all travel in the next 1-3 months as well. The poll also reveals a small uptick in the number of companies allowing some essential travel (44 percent compared to 37 percent in the previous GBTA poll released on May 20, 2020).

Small indications of recovery are also evident among suppliers, with more travel suppliers and travel management companies (TMCs) reporting an increase in bookings. In fact, almost half (46 percent) of travel suppliers and TMCs report seeing an increase in their bookings in the past week, while one in four (40 percent) say their bookings have remained the same.

Supplier optimism regarding the industry’s path to recovery is also showing positive signs. Four in ten (40 percent) say they feel more optimistic than they were last week (compared to 28 percent who felt the same in the previous GBTA coronavirus poll). Half (50 percent) feel the same as they did last week, and only one in ten (10 percent) feel more pessimistic about the industry’s path to recovery than they felt a week ago.

Guidelines and standards are critically important across all verticals pertaining to the business travel industry. GBTA member companies overwhelmingly feel industrywide COVID-19 guidelines/standards are very important or important. Almost all companies feel COVID-19 guidelines/standards are important for the airline (96 percent), hotel (96 percent), rental car (93 percent), ride sharing (93 percent), taxi (92 percent), chauffeured car (91 percent), and meeting and event (91 percent) industries.

When asked about the impact of pandemic on the industry, most companies feel the business travel industry has experienced the worst in terms of canceled flights (86 percent), hotel operations suspension (78 percent), layoffs/furloughs (52 percent), and revenue impact (47 percent). However, one in three believe the worst is yet to come in terms of layoffs/furloughs (31 percent) and revenue loss (34 percent).

Plans to Resume Business Travel

Region/Country Plan to Resume Travel in Near Future (1-3 months) Considering Resuming Travel in Near future, but No Definite Plans Do Not Plan to Resume Travel in Near Future Not Sure
China 12% 36% 34% 18%
Hong Kong 11% 36% 34% 19%
Taiwan 13% 35% 33% 20%
Asia Pacific (minus China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) 12% 39% 32% 18%
Europe 25% 41% 20% 14%
Latin America 13% 40%< 29% 18%
United States 38% 38% 13% 11%
Canada 33% 38% 15% 14%
Middle East/Africa 13% 37% 32% 17%
All International Travel 12% 44% 28% 16%
All Domestic Travel 49% 34% 8% 9%
All Travel 22% 50% 12% 16%

GBTA conducted a poll of its members across the globe from June 9-14, 2020. A total of 1,708 responses were received.

Previous GBTA poll results can be viewed here and here.

Visit gbta.org for more information.