The recent emergence and yet-unknown trajectory of a new COVID-19 variant is the latest development on the road to recovery for the business travel industry. Due to the omicron variant, many business travel practitioners are concerned about the potential economic impacts in the industry. Most companies, however, are taking a wait-and-see approach before introducing new restrictions or requirements for business travel as a result of the omicron variant. Additionally, a clear majority feel countries should require international visitors to prove they are fully vaccinated, and that pre-trip negative tests should be required regardless of vaccination status.
This is according to the latest poll from The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association. Earlier this month, GBTA surveyed its membership of global travel buyers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders to gauge current sentiment around the COVID-19 omicron variant and any early effects on the business travel industry.
“As we move through the pandemic, I think this shows the business travel industry is taking a thoughtful, informed and adaptive approach even as new variants may emerge,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “Without clear scientific data, we know knee-jerk restrictions on travel do not generate an effective outcome and taking actions such as border closures and frequently changing entry rules only add to the confusion. Companies and travelers are better equipped now with policies and processes to safely mitigate risk and support traveling, as long as testing and vaccines remain a part of the equation.”
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