June 15, 2024

One in five UK executives travelling more than pre-pandemic

More than a fifth (22%) of UK business travellers are travelling more than before the pandemic, according to a survey commissioned by World Travel Protection.

But the number differs depending on the size of the organisation. In companies with more than 250 employees, 71% of business travellers say they are travelling less frequently, compared to 65% amongst all businesses, and only 11% say travel is back to how it was before the pandemic.

A quarter of business travellers missed travelling for work during the pandemic, with a similar amount (24%) saying it is one of the best parts of the job. 

The survey also found:

  • 26% say international travel is important for their job
  • 28% say their organisation is encouraging travel “as face-to-face meetings are important to form relationships”
  • 22% are excited to be meeting people in-person again
  • 16% of business travellers say they don’t want to travel for work as much as they did before Covid
  • 16% say returning to travel is making them anxious
  • 11% are making-up excuses not to travel
  • 13% are under pressure from their organisations to travel for work
  • 24% say they have a backlog of trips due to Covid
  • 20% are refusing to travel to regions with high Covid rates.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, UK, World Travel Protection, said: “It’s good to see travel starting up again but it’s clear from this survey that there’s still a fair bit of apprehension and anxiety associated with travel in the new Covid-affected travel landscape. It’s important that travelling teams are properly supported by their organisations, as well as by outside experts, to ensure they can travel as seamlessly as possible with minimal worries.

“We look forward to travel continuing to increase gradually as well as confidence in travel rising as people become acclimatised to the new travel realities, which will stop feeling strange in the future.”

The Opinium online survey was conducted between 12 – 19 May 2022 with 500 UK business travellers, who travel internationally for business at least once a year.