New International Border Openings Set to Accelerate Lift in Business Travel

Updated: Oct 23, 2021



Article by GBTA | October 21, 2021


Latest GBTA poll also reports increased industry optimism, a rise in business travel bookings, support for vaccine programs and an eagerness to get back to traveling for work


Optimistic signs of return and tangible recovery in the business travel sector could be seen over the past month. In the latest poll from The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), half (52%) of industry respondents reported more optimism compared to September. October also saw an increase to 66% of those polled who said their companies are allowing non-essential domestic business travel and, in a high for the year, 42% international travel.


Three in four (74%) indicated support for the opening of U.S. borders (now slated for November 8) with the required protocols, with seven in 10 expecting an increase in international business travel over the next six months as a result. GBTA members and stakeholders strongly agree that reduced infection rates and increased vaccinations will accelerate business travel at their company, with 59% indicating increased vaccination rates around the world would be a top driver.


“There’s still a road ahead for recovery but we’re delighted to see the opening up of borders and a return to non-essential business travel. While we have seen ever-increasing domestic and short-haul travel, a more accelerated recovery has been hindered by the lack of international trans-Atlantic travel. The opening of the much-anticipated Europe and UK to U.S. travel corridors, as well as the opening of land borders to Canada and Mexico, will give a much-needed boost to the business travel ecosystem and global economy,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “Safety and duty of care continue to be of upmost importance to our members, who overwhelmingly support vaccine programs as well as smart travel policies to ensure a safe return to business travel, meetings and events.”


The October poll from GBTA, the world’s largest business travel association and worldwide leader in education, research, networking, and advocacy for the industry, is the 24th in a series tracking the pulse of GBTA’s membership of global travel buyers, suppliers, and other stakeholders on how the business travel industry overall is navigating the return to travel, post pandemic.


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