Flight Centre research shows business travel is beginning to bounce back

Half of the world’s organisations have begun travelling again, but under new conditions, according to Flight Centre’s third State of the Market survey.

The third stage of the survey, conducted by the brand’s consulting arm 4th Dimension (4D), represented business travellers working across 60 countries.

It followed the results of two State of the Market surveys released in May and June, both conducted by 4D among 2,320 business travel managers, bookers and travellers in EMEA, Asia, the Americas, India, Australia and New Zealand, to gauge their sentiments on business travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the findings, 50 per cent of respondents said they have employees already travelling or booking reservations to travel in the near future, and the combined results of all three pieces or research shows more than 90 per cent of businesses planned to travel domestically and short-haul flights within three months of governments re-opening borders and lifting restrictions.

Yet the number of trips taken will likely be lower, as only 26 per cent of businesses are planning to return to their pre-COVID-19 levels for domestic travel during 2021.

The remaining 74 per cent of businesses predict reduced domestic travel for the immediate year ahead.

Pre-COVID, the average number of business trips per traveller was 6-8 per year; the research shows this number is likely to fall between three and four trips per person, per year until 2023.

“The business travel landscape will continue to shift and evolve,” James Kavanagh, managing director of Flight Centre for Australia, said.

“While it’s positive to see such a high percentage of companies that have recommenced travel, it is clear that uncertainty will remain for some time, particularly while governments impose border restrictions or quarantine periods.

“Understanding how companies are resuming business travel and what factors are having the biggest impact on their priorities will enable us to provide the best possible support going forwards.”

The survey also revealed the mining and wholesale industries were the fastest to recommence travel, with 40 per cent of respondents from those businesses saying they continued to travel throughout the global shutdown and 80 per cent resuming travel at this point.

Construction and food services followed closely, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they had started to travel again.

Flight Centre Travel Group supremo Graham “Skroo” Turner will be speaking at the travel industry’s most thought-provoking conference, Travel DAZE 2020. To find out more or to register, click here.

Featured image source: iStock/Drazen Zigic