FCM study monitors slow recovery

SINGAPORE, 22 September 2020: Around 50% of organisations have begun travelling again, but with strict stipulations, according to the third phase of the ‘State of the Market’ survey by FCM Travel Solutions.

Conducted by FCM’s consulting arm 4th Dimension (4D), the final phase of this survey consisted of one-to-one interviews in August 2020 with 250 of FCM’s multi-national large-scale clients globally in over 60 countries.

The workshops examined a new path forward for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, as corporate travel resumes amid new safety and hygiene requirements and protocols.

It follows on from the results of two State of the Market surveys released in May and June, both conducted among 2,320 business travel managers, bookers and travellers in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, EMEA and the Americas, to gauge their sentiments on business travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

While 50% of respondents said they have employees already travelling or booking reservations to travel in the near future, resuming travel will be different for everyone. The combined results of the State of the Market research (April to August 2020) shows that over 90% of businesses indicated that they planned to travel domestically and short-haul international flights, within three months of government 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. The average number of business trips per traveller pre-Covid-19 was six to eight per year; this number is likely to fall between three and four trips per person, per year until 2023.

National businesses in China, Australia, New Zealand and USA were less likely to have international long-haul plans for 2021, indicating only domestic and short-haul international travel will be planned for next year.

29% of respondents from China said they wouldn’t be travelling long haul, while 16% of respondents in Australia, 22% in New Zealand and 7% in the USA indicated the same.

Here is a snapshot of professionals currently travelling globally.

Industries who continued to travel or recommenced travel the fastest were Mining & Wholesale, with approximately 40% of respondents from those businesses saying they continued travelling throughout the global shutdown. 80% have resumed travel at this point.

Construction and food services follow closely behind with approximately 70% of respondents indicating that they’ve started travelling again.

In Asia, the financial services, science and technology, education and training, mining and construction sectors were one of the first to resume travel. Across all industries, the first groups of people to travel will be/have been sales, client management and project workforce who are focused on business growth, customer retention and the resumption of projects. 19% of respondents agree that administration and internal support staff are the least likely to travel in the near future as they are not client-facing.

The full State of the Market Report with a comprehensive analysis of the survey results and market overview is available to download here https://www.fcmtravel.com/en-sg/state-of-market-report.

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