A vast majority (95%) of business travellers in APAC are ready to resume travel in the next 12 months, according to a new report.
Speaking to over 3,000 business travellers in the APAC market, the SAP Concur Asia–Pacific Business Traveller Report 2021 showed an overwhelming interest from workers for business travel to return in the next 12 months, with 95% of respondents ready to get back on the road.
The eagerness to return to travel is spurred by the belief that they will suffer if their company does not increase business travel in the next year. However, in order to feel comfortable on the road, they expect increased flexibility, marking changes in how they travel and do business.
According to the report, 81% of APAC business travellers worry the inability to increase business travel will affect them personally. Their personal career concerns include difficulty developing and maintaining business connections (51%, compared to 45% globally), not advancing in their career (39% compared to 33% globally) and making less money (39%).
Nearly one in seven (14%) even worry they will lose their job, and for very frequent business travellers (16+ trips a year), that number goes up to nearly one in four (22%).
As a result, nearly two-thirds of APAC business travellers (65%) say they are driving the return to the road rather than their company—largely in part because they view trips as opportunities to strengthen business relationships and broaden their horizons: A majority want to make personal connections with customers and colleagues (57%) as well as experience new places (53%).
What's new? As with everything else - more flexibility.
About three in four (74%) of APAC business travellers rank flexibility as a top consideration for business travel, well ahead of vaccination-related demands at 64%.
This includes everything from planning through the completion of their trips: business travellers being able to select their preferred accommodations (49%) and mode of travel (43%) as essential travel perks.
Flexibility can also mean more bleisure: about nine in 10 APAC business travellers (92%) will add personal vacation time to their business trips in the next 12 months.
APAC business travellers see a failure to resume travel as a risk to the company’s bottom line: 80% have concerns if their company does not increase business travel in the next 12 months.
Specifically, they worry that without increased travel, it will be more difficult to sign new deals (40%), build new relationships (39%), and renew contracts with existing clients (39%). In fact, 9% are even afraid their business will shut down.