businesses indicated they plan to travel domestically and short haul international flights within three months of governments re-opening borders and lifting restrictions such as quarantine.
Yet the number of trips taken will likely be lower, as only 26% of businesses are planning to return to their pre-COVID-19 levels for domestic travel during 2021. The remaining 74% of businesses predict reduced domestic travel for the immediate year ahead. Pre-COVID the average number of business trips per traveller was six to eight per year; this number is likely to fall between three and four trips per person, per year until 2023.
Clients still have long-haul travel plans on hold indefinitely. In particular, national businesses in New Zealand, USA, Australia, and China were less likely to have long-haul international plans for 2021, indicating only domestic and short-haul international travel will be planned for next year. Twenty nine percent of respondents from China say they won't be travelling long haul, while 22% of respondents in New Zealand, 16% in Australia and 7% in the USA indicated the same.
Nick Queale, general manager Flight Centre Corporate says that as pockets of the industry turn towards recovery, the business travel landscape continues to shift and evolve. ‘It is clear uncertainty will remain for some time, particularly while governments re-impose border restrictions or quarantine periods. However, understanding how companies are resuming business travel and what factors are having the biggest impact on their priorities, will enable us to provide the best possible support.’