Recent research conducted by VistaJet and WSJ Intelligence has underlined strong demand for business travel among the company executives surveyed.
As restrictions ease, built-up anticipation for business travel is clear, with 81% saying it will be more important than ever to driving success. Among respondents who take eight or more private flights a year, 60% plan to increase in-person meetings significantly.
For The Future of Business Travel report, more than 200 high-level company executives across the USA, EMEA and APAC regions were surveyed about the essential role and value of travel in their professional lives.
During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed, and almost all (97%) said their businesses experienced negative impact directly related to those restrictions. Nearly a quarter (24%) indicated massive or substantial disruptions across all eight areas measured, and 87% cited massive or substantial disruption in at least one area. More than a third (37%) said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.
VistaJet has seen a surge of 49% in corporate interest around the world since the start of the pandemic. The main benefits of taking private flights for business travel are reported by those surveyed, in order, as flexibility, efficiency, safety and privacy. The two top priorities for trips are visiting partners and vendors and going to industry events, each at 34%. Managing current relationships and building new ones are also key drivers.
In terms of the return to business travel, 46% of respondents are waiting for destinations to reopen; 42% want updated COVID-19 data and rules for destinations; 36% seek support in case COVID-19 regulations change during a trip; and the same number await relaxation of their own company’s travel policies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world, including travel,” said Ian Moore, chief commercial officer at VistaJet. “It also showed that some business travel is truly essential and having to forgo in-person trips came at a real cost to companies. Additionally, it is hard to read a room when everyone is in individual windows on screen – misunderstandings can occur, especially across cultures, and these in turn can become costly mistakes.”
To further support businesses around the world connect and restart the economy, VistaJet recently launched a new Corporate Membership, benefits of which include payment in arrears, unlimited flying hours, guaranteed availability of additional aircraft, and streamlined travel logistics.