Corporate suspensions or cancellations especially of international business travel in the past two weeks have increased sharply due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Global Business Travel Association membership survey released Tuesday.
About 41 percent of respondent companies have canceled or suspended all international travel due to concerns over Covid-19, according to the survey, which was fielded March 4-6. GBTA’s survey includes 1,095 member companies throughout the world; 46 percent of respondents were travel managers, 6 percent procurement or sourcing professionals, 32 percent suppliers, 10 percent travel management companies and 7 percent other categories.
Only 7 percent of respondent companies had reported international travel cancellations in a Feb. 24 GBTA survey. About 13 percent of respondent companies in March reported canceling or suspending all domestic travel, compared with 2 percent in the prior survey.
Chart: Suspension Rates for International & Domestic Travel
“Coronavirus is significantly impacting the business travel industry’s bottom line,” GBTA COO and executive director Scott Solombrino said in a statement. “As the virus continues to spread across the world, business travel is slowing at an alarming rate. The impact to the business travel industry—and to the broader economy—cannot be underestimated.”
Across all global regions, respondent companies have canceled average of 43 percent of business trips previously booked for March due to the outbreak. About 73 percent of respondent companies reported canceling at least a “few” meetings, events or conferences, with 30 percent canceling “many” such events.
The effect of the international business travel restrictions is most keenly felt on trips to China, which 95 percent of respondent companies have banned, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan, travel to which has been banned by 87 percent and 79 percent, respectively. About three-quarters of respondent companies have done likewise on business travel elsewhere in Asia.
Chart: Suspension Rates for China & Other Asia-Pacific Travel
Cancellations and suspensions of business travel to regions other than Asia also have jumped. About 51 percent of respondent companies reported suspensions or cancellations of all or most business travel to Europe, 8 percent more than in February.
Chart: Travel Suspension Rates for Other Global Regions
About 55 percent of respondent companies reported new trip-approval procedures, up from 43 percent in the prior survey, and 62 percent have modified their travel safety and security policies, up from 51 percent.
Suppliers also are feeling the pinch. Fifty-nine percent of supplier respondents reported that the coronavirus outbreak has made a “significant” impact on their company’s revenue, and another 27 percent reported a “moderate” impact to date.
This content was originally published here.