According to a new survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, more than half of American business travelers are likely to cancel their existing travel plans without intending to postpone them due to the increase in the number of cases of delta variants of Covid-19. Survey results come as businesses delay return to office and major business travel destinations reinstate entry requirements and travel warnings, further evidence of a resumption of business travel in the fall that could be lower than some had expected.
AHLA interviewed 2,200 adults from August 11 to 12 about their travel plans. Of the total sample, 414 respondents were business travelers. About 60% of business travelers surveyed said they would likely postpone their travel plans to a later date. About 67 percent said they would likely make fewer trips, while 68 percent said they would likely make shorter trips and 66 percent said they would likely only travel to places where they can. to get by car.
Most of the business travelers surveyed are reducing not only the number and duration of their trips, but also their meeting attendance, with 71% saying they are likely to attend fewer in-person events or gatherings. About 59 percent said they are likely to postpone existing meetings, and 49 percent said they are likely to cancel existing meetings with no intention of rescheduling.
Indeed, the group’s demand could fall in the coming months, according to STR and Tourism Economics. “The group will always perform, but I won’t be surprised to see cancellations in markets with high case counts and low vaccination rates,” STR President Amanda Hite said in a statement accompanying her forecast. U.S. hotel companies upgraded for 2021.
The decline in meeting attendance comes as some scheduled large-scale events are canceled or delayed. On August 24, the Financial Planning Association, for example, canceled its in-person conference scheduled for September 22, citing “the increase in the delta variant and concerns over the growing number of Covid-19 cases across the country. “. Almost 1,000 participants were registered for the event.
Polls suggest hesitation in demand
The AHLA results coincide with the August survey by the Global Business Travel Association. Of the 678 travel buyers and suppliers in this survey, 40% who had stopped domestic travel planned to resume domestic travel within the next one to three months. About 31 percent of vendors surveyed reported a decline in corporate bookings, and 25 percent reported an increase in corporate sales.
Based on a May to mid-June survey of 150 business executives, Deloitte predicted business travel to the United States in Q4 2021 to be at most 35% of the Q4 level of 2019. Deloitte predicted that business travel would recover faster if border restrictions were relaxed. and a major epidemic did not occur. Since the investigation was completed, quarantines and travel advisories have been maintained or reinstated. The U.S. federal government said in late July that it would not lift restrictions on international travelers anytime soon, and the August 30 European Council removed the United States from its list of safe countries travelers would not need. quarantine or testing.
Survey results are mounting after suppliers expressed optimism in their quarterly earnings calls this summer. Many have pointed to fall’s alleged return to the office as a sign of a stronger recovery in business travel.
However, several companies have again delayed their mandatory return to the office. Google, Facebook and Amazon, each a Corporate Travel 100 company, have each recently announced that they will delay their mandatory return to the office until 2022 due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.