Report reveals business travellers are keen to get back to business

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As border restrictions tighten, many Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) business travellers are eager to resume travel as quickly as possible, with 53 per cent anticipating fewer contracts or deals that require in-person meetings, and one third expecting declines in new business due to a lack of in-person meetings, according to a new report released by SAP Concur.

The 2020 Global Traveller Report of 4850 business travellers in 23 markets found that, even though 28 percent of Australia and New Zealand business travellers feel worried about resuming travel once restrictions are lifted, 62 percent have positive feelings about returning to the road.

The report also found that 96 percent of ANZ business travellers expect long term changes to business travel in the post-COVID environment, including the widespread use of hand sanitisers, travel-enforced social distancing, and alternative touchless greetings for handshakes. One-third of ANZ business travellers expect limiting the use of public transport, and almost one quarter predict using their personal vehicle for business travel within Australia and New Zealand.

Matt Goss, managing director, SAP Concur ANZ said, “While travel may look different post-COVID, two thirds of ANZ business travellers do not expect to routinely limit their attendance at events and conferences, suggesting changes will be needed to meet their new expectations when they are back on the road”.

The trip itself is now considered to be the most stressful stage of travel for almost half of the business travellers surveyed, and 97 percent of travellers want their organisations to adopt measures such as personal health screenings, real-time updates on travel risks, and limiting travel to only business-critical trips for travelling employees.

Mobile apps can make travel easier to manage for businesses and travellers alike. The report showed that the top four preferred features in a mobile travel app were: mobile check-in; traveller safety information; the ability to book air travel and manage their trip itinerary; and automatic notifications for out-of-policy bookings or expenses. About one in five business travellers was interested in the ability to track and offset their carbon footprint.

The report also revealed that 93 per cent of ANZ business travellers would like company training on: how to protect their health and safety during travel; how to maintain healthy habits while travelling; travel best practices; and travelling more sustainably.

Matt Goss said, “Business travel is a potential source of stress for employees. To keep employees happy and productive while travelling, it’s important for organisations to listen to their employees and invest in solutions their travellers want. This includes implementing measures that employees see as necessary when travel resumes, such as improved traveller safety information, requiring pre-trip approval, or a greater ability to change travel plans quickly.”