Vaccine, policy key to business travel

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The release of a vaccine remained key to the return of business travel, according to the GBTA.

The organisation joined recent calls from the WTTC for more uniform and systematic quarantine rules, with Marriott International calling for stronger decision making from the big corporates.

Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate told a webinar hosted by the GBTA: “Business travel recovery will be uneven, with innovative and creative companies taking the lead”.

The gathering, which included GBTA interim executive director Dave Hilfman, also found that business stability would be aided by; increased fiscal stimulus from government; more uniform and systematic quarantine rules; and the proposed liability waiver that would grant immunity against potentially fraudulent class-action lawsuits to businesses that follow public safety guidelines and take recommended precautions against coronavirus infection.

The GBTA said that changing prices would not stimulate demand. Metrics showed that travellers preferred going to areas closer to home, signifying that hotels and ground transportation might recover more quickly than airlines.

It concluded: “As consumers start traveling again, their preferences may change. Businesses that have paid attention to the shifting needs of travellers during this pandemic, and then capitalise on this opportunity to offer new and innovative solutions, will come out strong on the other side of the downturn.”

The discussion came after a report from McKinsey, which reported that, in 2018, business-travel spending exceeded $1.4 trillion – 21.4% of the global travel and hospitality sector. More than half of business travel was concentrated in two economies: China and the US.