Here we are on the last day of August. Like many of you, just a few weeks ago I thought we would be in a much different place in terms of the pandemic and the return to business travel. And the results of our most recent GBTA COVID-19 poll released last week reflect our current reality with new uncertainties. But there is still progress to report.
In GBTA’s August poll, even as business travel sentiment remained solid overall, we’re seeing heightened concern around the Delta variant and other potential variants (especially from within the US). Respondents reported less optimism for business travel in terms of supplier and TMC revenue impact; employment and re-hiring; and the ongoing health and safety of those traveling for business–especially in certain markets.
However, we continue to see a willingness and readiness of employees to return to business travel. And over half of poll respondents said they expect that business travel will see an increase between September and November. Interestingly, Europe respondents were about 25% more likely than in North America to expect to see business travel gains during that timeframe. There was also a slight increase reported in the re-opening of international and domestic business travel versus the month prior.
Based on the data and what we’re hearing, the industry’s current view appears to be both realistic and sobering for the present term, but with more optimism for the near-term future ahead. At GBTA, we continue to advocate on behalf of our industry and our members, and to navigate the road ahead for the safe and responsible return to business travel.
And when we look to the future, it is critical that we as an industry continue to develop and support the next generation of business travel professionals. That’s the mission of our GBTA Ladders program.
I encourage you to attend the upcoming GBTA Ladders Virtual Open Houses to hear from the Ladders Leadership team and past mentees, on the value that Ladders participation can bring to your career today. Attendees can learn more about becoming involved in GBTA’s global mentorship program during these interactive sessions. We have two regional open house dates:
September 14, 11:00 AM ET
September 21, 2:00 PM ET (Canada)
News To Know
Impact and Outlook for Latin American Airlines
Overall, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 had a major impact on the aviation industry in Latin America, as the demand for air travel dropped and airlines were forced to cut down their capacity. Mexico is leading the recovery in the number of flights in Latin America, and Aeroméxico announced new air routes.
Tracking Changes in Flight Options in Europe
Alitalia, Italy’s national flag carrier announced its closure and will no longer sell tickets after October 15. Because of continuing restrictions on travel to the US, Aer Lingus is delaying the start of certain New York and Orlando flights, while Air Charter Service announced a record year across its private jet, group charter and cargo units, largely because of disruption to the world’s scheduled air transport networks during the pandemic.
GBTA News & Reminders
Women in Tech, Episode 5 Recording Now Available
Check out the latest installment of the GBTA Tech Committee’s Women in Tech Series, hosted by Francesca Dapiran. Our hosts cover the question of gender balance within the company structure during their discussion with Ami Taylor from SAP Concur and Claire Osborne from Travelport. The key is to view this concept not necessarily as a problem that needs solving, but rather an opportunity that can benefit all involved. Watch Now
Guide to ISO31030 Implementation
Take part in GBTA’s Travel Risk Management Bootcamp: Understanding and Implementing ISO31030. This one-day virtual course, led by travel risk management experts Global Secure Accreditation in conjunction with GBTA and the Anvil Group, is designed to give practical guidance to anyone involved in building and managing corporate travel programs. Learn more about the course and featured speakers here.