News of fits and starts of the return of domestic business travel in certain domestic markets has underscored our most recent pandemic recovery research: that optimism continues to cautiously rise as business travelers get back into planes, trains, cars and meetings. Thanks to all of you who fill out this important survey every month! It helps drive our conversations across many policy-advocacy channels to align vaccination-leading countries’ protocols for what’s next: international business travel’s steady and safe return.
- At the UK All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) session last week, GBTA joined the UK’s Business Travel Association and Virgin Atlantic to give a cross party group of MPs from both sides of the political aisle an overview of impact on business and economies by further delays of UK’s border reopening and entry requirements. Specifically, I gave GBTA’s buyers’ view on global business travel’s return – peppering my remarks with your feedback from our monthly poll. Click here for a review of the session.
- GBTA strengthened our call on EU Member States to take decisive action and coordinate seamlessly to safely reopen travel across the EU. We also issued letters to individual EU representatives, co-signed by our partner associations. Click here to read more about these efforts.
- Once again, we called on the U.S. Biden Administration to reopen our borders safely and consistently to international in-bound travelers – to not settle for just slow-moving task-force displays of coordination, but to show as much determination and speed on this policy as has been the case domestically since May.
We are on the cusp of many countries’ reduced COVID caseloads and rising vaccination rates – along with now proven mitigation factors – serving as the key to unlocking international business travel, as companies throughout these regions set the reopening of travel policies and budgets.
As an industry, let’s be ready with best practices at the company – and country – level for the restart of international business travel.
Need to Know
EU Eases Entry Restrictions: The decision allows travelers from the U.S. and other nations and territories on the EU’s “white list” to enter the EU, regardless of vaccination status, although each of the EU’s 27 member states can decide how and when to adopt the recommendation and set its own guidelines.
U.S. Travel Association Releases Forecast on Business Travel Recovery: In conjunction with Tourism Economics, the association released a new report projecting business travel won’t fully recover to 2019 levels of either spend or number of trips until 2024. This is in line with the forecast of GBTA’s own BTI™ Outlook, released earlier this year.
Canada-U.S. Border Staying Closed Until July 21: While the Canadian government released disappointing news late last week – announcing restrictions on non-essential international travel were being extended another month – there was some positive movement on the lifting of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated Canadians. Announced on June 21 by the Government of Canada and effective July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will no longer have to quarantine, nor complete the day 8 COVID test. This comes on the heels of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, of which GBTA is a member, putting pressure on the government to follow the recommendations of the science-driven COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel and re-start Canada’s aviation, travel and tourism sectors.
GBTA News & Reminders
Voting Now Open for GBTA Board Directors Election: Electronic voting runs through July 19 at 5 p.m. EDT. Direct and Allied Members received emails yesterday with the link to vote. If you didn’t receive this email or have questions about the online voting process, please contact Shane Downey at [email protected] or Election Services Corp.: [email protected] or +1 866 720 HELP (4357). Candidates for the open seats presented their visions for the Association at a Global Candidate Forum last week. You can view the candidate videos here.
July 20 Virtual Summit and Annual Business Meeting: Please join me when we release the results of the Board Director elections and provide an Association update. In the second part of the meeting, we’re offering education sessions on crisis recovery, operational excellence, the future of travel and closing remarks from Andree Jett, a well-known author and bilingual keynote speaker, who will share her insights on how using principles of neuroscience – and humor – and “remembering to be kind to yourself” can make you ready for the next set of challenges that come your way. You can register here.
GBTA Poll: Buyers Report 77% Now Willing to Travel: As I mentioned above, last week we released the results of our latest COVID-19 member poll – the 20th in the series – showing positive momentum continues to grow in resuming domestic travel, while the outlook for international business travel remains murky. Click here to review the full results and key highlights.
Update on Convention 2021: We just announced our first feature Lunch Session at GBTA Convention 2021 and it’s going to be a great one! The topic is “Sustainability: Mobilizing Our Industry for Changes” and our impressive line-up of guests includes Carlos Maurer, executive vice president, sectors & decarbonisation for Royal Dutch Shell and Paul Abbott, CEO of American Express Global Business Travel. Click here to register for the Convention.
As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, things are changing quickly, region by region. At GBTA, we’ve got our finger on the pulse of shifting requirements and regulations and will continue to update you and advocate on behalf of you and our entire industry.