GBTA poll highlights impact of coronavirus

By Andy Hoskins, published 13/03/20

More than 40% of companies have suspended ‘all or most’ international travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a poll by the US-based Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

In the third poll of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak, GBTA received more than 1,000 responses from its largely US-based member companies, including travel managers, TMCs and suppliers.

Ninety-five percent said their organisations have cancelled all or most business trips to China, 87% said the same about travel to Hong Kong and 79% with regards travel to Taiwan.

Slightly more than half (51%) have cancelled all or most trips to Europe, up 8% from the previous poll conducted ten days beforehand.

And 41% have cancelled all or most international travel, a significant increase from the previous poll when only 7% of companies had reported doing so.

In contrast, only 3% have put a halt to domestic US trips and 57% said they had cancelled no domestic travel whatsoever.

Meanwhile, more than half of the organisations polled have implemented new trip approval procedures and 62% have modified their travel safety and security policies.

A ban on travel between 26 European companies - not including the UK and Ireland - commences on Friday night.

The measures, announced by US President Donald Trump, are expected to last 30 days and exclude US citizens and travel to/from non-Schengen European countries.

“Coronavirus is significantly impacting the business travel industry’s bottom line,” says Scott Solombrino, COO and Executive Director of the Global Business Travel Association.

“As the virus continues to spread across the world, business travel is slowing at an alarming rate. The impact to the business travel industry – and to the broader economy – cannot be underestimated.”

He continues: “Traveller safety remains the industry’s primary concern, and we are continuing to monitor conditions and respond appropriately.

gbta.org