New research commissioned by the SAP Concur organisation highlights enthusiasm among Asia Pacific (APAC) business travellers to resume their work trips. Respondents to the survey carried out in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand believe that the current travel hiatus is hurting their careers − by impeding their business goals − and personal lives.
While they hope to restart their in-person meetings soon − 95% are “willing” to travel in the next 12 months, including 63% who are “very willing” to do so – they also want greater control over how they will travel, so that their safety and health can be better safeguarded amid the pandemic.
“Covid-19 has upended business travel in the the past year and a half. Yet, it has also reaffirmed business travel’s importance in forging business and personal connections, and enabling career advancement,” said Dr Carl Jones, vice president and head of strategy for SAP Concur Asia Pacific.
“While uncertainty continues to linger around travel curbs, firms can support business travellers by updating travel policies to provide more flexibility in flight and accomodation selection, better protecting employees’ health and safety. Then as vaccinations progress and travel bubbles form in the coming months, they will be better positioned to enable safe travel, facilitating business growth and talent retention.”
Notable findings from the study of 1,050 APAC business travellers include:
- Travellers believe their career success depends on a return to business travel
- Changing traveller expectations forcing organisations to rethink their travel policies
- Flexibility helps employees feel safe
Dr Jones said: “The actions that businesses take in the next 12 months to protect traveller safety and health could make or break their ability to acquire and retain valuable employees amid a competitive market for talent.”