June 20, 2021

ITM survey shows impact of virtual meetings

By Bev Fearis, published 9/12/20

Half of travel managers, buyers and heads of travel expect a permanent decline of up to 30% in their business travel, according to a survey by ITM.

A poll of 109 ITM members found 51% expect virtual meetings to replace 10-30% of their travel spend even after the pandemic.

Another 23% expect the reduction to be even greater (30-50%), while 8% said up to 70% of their travel volume could be eliminated by technology.

Buyers expect 20% of their travel spend will be for internal meetings in 2021, compared with 40% in 2019.

The findings of the confidential survey, carried out over two weeks in November, were revealed yesterday at ITM’s annual Trends Summit.

It found duty of care and safety were still the number one priority for travel programming in 2021, although traveller wellbeing has jumped from number three last year to number two, replacing budget control.

New to the list of priorities were determining the appetite for business travel (number 8) and identifying drivers in business travel recovery (9).

The survey found the biggest challenge to ITM members, other than Covid, was the complexity of global government and border restrictions due to the pandemic.

It also found that 45% of those surveyed admit their travel programme is not yet fully prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period.

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