GBTA Survey Shows Wait-And-See Approach to Omicron
Most companies are holding back on new restrictions >>
by: Harvey Chipkin
Most companies are taking a wait-and-see approach on new restrictions or requirements in the face of the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, according to the latest survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The survey also showed a clear majority of respondents saying that countries should require international visitors to prove they are fully vaccinated, and that pre-trip negative tests should be required regardless of vaccination status. Suzanne Neufang, CEO, said the results show the business travel industry is taking a thoughtful, informed and adaptive approach even as new variants may emerge. She said that without clear scientific data, “knee-jerk” restrictions on travel do not generate an effective outcome, and taking actions such as border closures and frequently changing entry rules only adds to the confusion. Companies and travelers are better equipped now, said Neufang, with policies and processes to safely mitigate risk and support traveling, as long as testing and vaccines remain a part of the equation. Among the survey results:
• Half (53%) report their company is unlikely to introduce new restrictions due to the Omicron variant, while one in five (19%) report their company has not introduced new restrictions but is considering doing so.
• Less than a fifth (17%) of respondents said their company introduced new restrictions on nonessential business travel or new requirements related to business travel due to Omicron.
• The Omicron variant has likely had an impact on at least a portion of bookings for business travel suppliers and travel management companies. One in three (37%) report their bookings have decreased, while a third (35%) say their company’s bookings have remained the same.
• Two-thirds of respondents (66%) feel countries should require international visitors to prove they are fully vaccinated.
• Most respondents (60%) feel that countries should require pre-trip negative tests for all international visitors even if they have been fully vaccinated (60%).