May 18, 2024

Travel policy amends extend beyond China

Travel management company Travel & Transport says 81% of clients it surveyed have made some changes to their travel patterns to or within Asia amid ongoing concerns around coronavirus.

Eighty percent have suspended all travel to China and 19% have suspended travel to the wider Asia-Pacific region, says the TMC, which received responses from 86 global customers.

Where travel bans are in place, these are typically in place ‘until further notice’.

Of the 30 TMC members who provided feedback, nearly a third reported a reduction in transaction volumes of 20% or more.

“Intercontinental travel requires VP and medical approval, and prior approval for travel to Asia is required,” said one T&T client.

Another said they “let the airlines dictate where travel is allowed”.

Elsewhere, Gary Povey, Senior Vice President Global Sales at Reed & Mackay, says the TMC is seeing some changes to travel to and within Asia but is not witnessing any blanket bans on travel.

Another UK-based TMC representative says a very small number of clients have implemented short-term bans on all business travel.

The ITM says it is ‘closely monitoring’ the situation and is aware of various measures implemented by the companies of its travel manager members.

These include bans and restrictions on non-essential travel to mainland China, pre-approval to travel to China, and bans and restrictions on travel to various Asian destinations and northern Italy.

Some companies are also asking employees returning from mainland China to work from home for 14 days.

Meanwhile, TripActions has reported a 400% increase in blacklisting activity from January 1 to March 5, naming China, South Korea, Italy, Hong Kong and Iran as the top destinations temporarily declared off-limits by its customers.

A recent poll of GBTA members found nearly two-thirds have cancelled at least a ‘few’ meetings or events due to the spread of coronavirus.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of GBTA’s supplier companies say coronavirus has had a ‘significant’ impact on their revenues and 31% said it has had a ‘moderate’ impact.