However, in getting back to the skies, nearly nine out of 10 business travellers are concerned that their fellow travellers are not responsibly following COVID protocols.
The best way to conduct business is to make it a contact sport. And regular business travellers are patiently yet eagerly waiting for their turn at the pitch.
A new survey released by Chubb finds that globally, 84% of business travellers say they cannot wait to travel again without fear of getting COVID. Four out of five say they have personally missed business travel. A slightly larger share – 87% – say they miss leisure travel.
The survey, titled Time to Fly: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Present and Future of Business Travel, canvassed views from 2,100 business travellers across four regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
However, in getting back to the skies, the respondents' biggest concern was their fellow travellers - nearly nine out of 10 business travellers are concerned that their fellow travellers are not responsibly following COVID protocols. Perhaps for this reason, a majority (75%) of business travellers are willing to pay more just to keep the middle seat open. Similarly, by an overwhelming margin (90%), business travellers say they want to understand the safety protocols at a hotel before they stay.
With the vaccine roll out underway in many regions, HR professionals are turning a renewed focus to return-to-work, and possibly business travel, strategies.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- Globally, 80% or more of business travellers believe they are missing something important when they cannot see body language or other visual clues that you can only get in an in-person meeting.
- Nearly three out of four business travellers (74%) say they are less effective in their job due to the pandemic and severely limited travel opportunities. Areas that have been negatively impacted include client service and the ability to maintain relationships with clients and business partners.
- With the proper precautions, respondents are twice as likely to feel more comfortable travelling for business than for leisure. One reason cited: business is important to their livelihood.
- A large majority of business travellers (69%) expect that company travel budgets will be trimmed in a post-COVID world to reduce expenses.
- 87% of business travelers have been personally concerned about contracting Covid during the pandemic, and take steps to protect themselves, including wearing masks and social distancing.
- A smaller share (74%) say they always follow government rules. Another 24% say they sometimes follow COVID restrictions. Adherence to COVID safety protocols is highest among travellers in Latin America at 87%.
Image / Chubb