2021-04-22 GBTA Chart

Nearly two-thirds of member corporate travel managers surveyed this month by the Global Business Travel Association believe their organizations’ employees now are ready to travel for business, the highest figure by a good margin recorded in the monthly surveys the association has conducted in the past six months.

About 53 percent of 332 buyer respondents to the April 12-17 poll indicted they believed their organizations were “somewhat willing” to travel for work, with an additional 12 percent marking travelers as “very willing.” Combined, that 65 percent indicating at least some willingness is up from 55 percent each in February and March. 

Respondents were surveyed after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on April 2 that travelers fully vaccinated for Covid-19 “can travel safely within the United States” without the self-quarantine or test for the coronavirus, unless their destination requires it. About 64 percent of respondents said that updated guidance made them personally “somewhat” or “much more comfortable” about the possibility of business travel, and 52 percent projected the move would have “some” or “major” influence on their companies’ timeline to restart travel. About 15 percent indicated the CDC’s move would have “no influence at all.”

Less Travel, More Duties

Meanwhile, about 57 percent of respondents indicated their job responsibilities have changed as a result of the pandemic, and 66 percent of them said they have more. About 48 percent of those who said their responsibilities changed noted their companies now have more people and departments involved in decisions regarding travel policy, and 19 percent indicated that their organizations now require broader levels of approval to change policy. Respondents were permitted to select more than one answer.