Hoping for a V

John Wagner George Sell Uploaded


It's not often that a press release from an industry body contains the word "dire" but the GBTA has been very candid when announcing the results of its latest flash poll of members.

The current situation was largely responsible for the use of the d-word, but what is more interesting is the wide range of attitudes to how and when a recovery will occur. Slightly more than half expect travel to resume within the next two (32 per cent) or three (19 per cent) months, while 16 per cent are unsure. When asked to assess employee willingness to travel once restrictions are lifted, the majority of GBTA member companies expect most (33 per cent) or some (33 per cent) employees will be willing to travel. A much smaller proportion anticipates unwillingness on the part of some (13 per cent) or most (two per cent) employees to travel.

There are understandably a lot of people now trying to predict how the coronavirus pandemic will change future behaviours and whether it will drastically alter the way society functions, but I am of the school of thought that a large number of people will want to get back to something like normality as soon as possible - the low figure expecting unwillingness to travel is encouraging. I don't see business travel experiencing the full V-shaped recovery that some economists are predicting - the world of work is going to change - but I hope and expect the second leg of the V will be nearly as tall as the first by late 2021.

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