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Study shows business travellers want new COVID-19 safety measures

Business travellers are eager to travel, but only with correct safety measures in place, according to a new study from Amadeus.

The study says that business travel has been one of the hardest-hit sectors during the global pandemic, and its report shows that of 1,400 regular business travellers 93% have reduced travel for work, by an average of 60% since the pandemic began (78% for over 55’s). 

But it says there are reasons for cautious optimism as 84% of business travellers confirm they would travel now if the correct safe travel measures are in place, this rises to 87% for frequent flyers.

Amadeus says the desire to travel for work is driven by human factors, with travellers most missing being able to meet customers and colleagues face-to-face and share ideas with in-person meetings, closely followed by social aspects like sharing a meal.

Frequent travellers highlighted the following five safe travel measures from nine options, which Amadeus says suggests that as the travel industry and governments across the world work together to implement new COVID-19 safe measures, priority should be given to information sharing, contactless payment technology, and comprehensive medical insurance. 

The five safe travel measures highlighted were:

  • COVID-19 medical insurance.
  • Up-to-date health and travel restriction information about the destination.
  • Hygiene information for the destination hotel/office.
  • Ability to pay using contactless methods.
  • Mandatory test or vaccine certification prior to boarding.

Amadeus says it found that travellers prioritise information on health and travel restrictions as well as contactless payments over testing and vaccination certificates, which it says suggests they seek the tools to more safely manage their own trip and the associated risks. 

“Business travellers are sensitive to the economic environment, with 96% confirming they would be happy to adhere more closely to their company’s travel policy if it meant business travel could be justified,” says Amadeus executive vice president, Rudy Daniello.

“Our findings show that travellers are eager to travel if the right safety measures are in place, which is hugely encouraging for the business travel industry. Whilst vaccination will take time, there’s a range of steps corporations and travel companies can take now to protect and reassure travellers.” 

He adds that new innovations in mobile payment and expense are coming online allowing travellers to use contactless payments using their mobile, directly from the company bank account. 

“This removes the need to touch payment terminals or handle paper receipts whilst expense reporting is automated in the background,” Daniello says.

“Travellers can also access information relating to travel restrictions, COVID-19 prevalence and hygiene factors at the point of booking. 

“While it may be difficult now, technological innovations can make business travel even better than it was in 2019.”