February 29, 2024

GBTA survey shows optimism

By Bev Fearis, published 1/05/20

The latest survey of GBTA members has found signs of optimism about the industry’s recovery.

Responses from 1,600 member companies from a global poll carried out on April 17-22 found most are planning a recovery for 2020 and one in three are planning a recovery within three months or less.

“The global business travel industry remains at a standstill, but we are finally beginning to see some light at the end of this very long tunnel,” said GBTA Chief Executive Officer Scott Solombrino.

“GBTA members are planning their post-coronavirus recovery plans and most expect to be operational in 2020. This is a positive sign. The majority of GBTA member companies expect domestic business travel to resume in the next two to three months and most expect employees will be willing to travel. We have waited a long time for there to be optimism around the pandemic in our industry, and it should continue to grow as we get closer to halting the spread of this disease.”

The survey found 35% of GBTA members are planning for a post-pandemic recovery within three months or less, 27% say six to eight months, while 10% are planning for recovery in 2021 and 28% say they don’t know.

For domestic travel, 62% of global members say they expect it to resume in the next two to three months, 19% say the next six to eight months and 19% are unsure.

The survey highlighted differences in expectations on either side of the Atlantic, with European members (74%) more likely than members based in North America (58%) to expect domestic business travel to return in two to three months.

The survey also showed differences in expectations about the resumption of international business travel, with 33% of European members expecting it to resume in two to three months, compared to 26% of North American companies.

Meanwhile, just under half (47%) of European members believe international travel will take six to eight months to return, compared with 38% of U.S. companies.

Globally, the majority of GBTA members (88%) expect employees will be willing to travel once restrictions are lifted.