The number of business trips is growing again. Exhibitions, congresses and other mass business events are also gradually reopening. But under what circumstances are business trips possible again and how to prevent infection? According to AirPlus International, a company specializing in corporate payments, companies and organizations are well prepared for this.
According to a survey of about 750 top executives around the world, more than 90 percent of companies are already informing their employees about entry and quarantine restrictions or plan to do so in the near future.
Moreover, more than half (51 percent) have established their own rules according to which their employees may or may not travel. More than a third (35 percent) are currently planning such a move. In addition, business travelers are increasingly allowed to choose higher booking classes. In any case, airplanes are considered very safe thanks to air filters, but almost half of the respondents said that they will also allow their employees to travel in business class or first class on trains. This also includes the advantage of direct routes to avoid the additional risks associated with transfers.
Currently, corporate demand for flights is still lower by 64% compared to the period before the pandemic. Airlines are still waiting for the pre-crisis level of bookings for business travelers to recover. As a result, several airlines offer discounts.
The choice of higher booking classes, in particular, shows that companies also agree to higher costs to meet their security responsibilities. In any case, business leaders expect an increase in prices for business travel in the long run. 59 percent expect higher transport and accommodation prices than before the pandemic, and only 8 percent believe costs will fall.
Despite higher costs and increased effort, business travel is still important. 80% of surveyed executives and top managers still consider personal contact with customers and suppliers necessary. As a result, slightly less than half of respondents (48 percent) even expect more business trips in the next two or three years than in 2019.
In total, about three-quarters of companies have adjusted their travel policies as a result of the COVID pandemic, and also plan to maintain changes (72 percent).
The survey surveyed a total of 743 top managers in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Italy and France, including CEOs, CFOs and sales executives.