COVID-19 concerns and extended cutbacks to business travel continue to hinder the travel industry’s full recovery, even as US borders reopen, bookings exceed last year’s numbers, and consumer comfort levels with traveling continue to grow.
According to a recent survey from Morning Consult, the global enterprise technology company, the pandemic has likely changed the long-term outlook for business travel in the US, with 39 percent of American business travelers saying they’ll never go on a work trip again.
In contrast, a number of other recent surveys have found the majority of business travelers eager to get back on the road. However most agree that uncertainty around the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant has put a damper on business trips.
The Morning Consult survey found business trips were likely to be shorter, with data showing 1 in 5 business trips in the next year will be day trips. Business travel in western Europe is lagging behind leisure during the pandemic recovery, especially in France where more than half of business travelers plan to stay off the road indefinitely.
The poll of over 9,000 adults across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, found that, despite the vaccine rollout, consumer comfort with shared transport remains low. Nevertheless, the survey found 63 percent of Americans said vaccines should be required of patrons when flying internationally.
Almost as many – 60 percent – said vaccines should be required of passengers on domestic flights.