Fifty per cent of businesses have started travelling again, but the number corporate trips per year will be well down on pre-Covid levels until 2023, according to the third phase of a survey by FCM Travel Solutions and sister company Corporate Traveller.
The combined results of the State of the Market research (April to August 2020) shows over 90% of businesses indicated that they planned to travel domestically and on short-haul international flights, within three months of governments re-opening borders and lifting restrictions such as quarantine.
Yet the number of trips taken will likely be lower, as only 26% of businesses are planning to return to their pre-Covid-19 levels for domestic travel during 2021.
The remaining 74% of businesses predict reduced domestic travel for the immediate year ahead. Pre-Covid, the average number of business trips per traveller was between six and eight per year; this number is likely to fall between three and four trips per person, per year until 2023.
Clients still have long-haul travel plans on hold indefinitely, as they assess the balance between need and safety.
In particular, national businesses in USA, Australia, China and New Zealand were less likely to have long-haul international plans for 2021, indicating only domestic and short-haul international travel will be planned for next year.
Almost on in three (29%) of respondents from China said they won’t be travelling long haul, while 22% of respondents in New Zealand, 16% in Australia and 7% in the USA indicated the same.
Mining and wholesale industries continued to travel the most, or recommenced travel the fastest.
Construction and food services follow closely behind with roughly 70% of respondents indicated that they’ve started travelling again.
Chris Galanty, Global Corporate CEO, Flight Centre Travel Group said: “In preparation for a return to some normality, businesses and suppliers are reframing their priorities, processes and procedures.
“It is clear that uncertainty will remain for some time, particularly while governments re-impose border restrictions or quarantine periods. However, understanding how companies are resuming business travel and what factors are having the biggest impact on their priorities, will enable us to provide the best possible support going forwards.”