Ebola not yet affecting business travel— Poll

Posted: October 28, 2014 in general

Business travel has not been significantly impacted by the current Ebola outbreak, according to a poll of travel managers conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.

Nearly 80 percent of the managers said international business travel has either not been impacted at all or has not been impacted much during the past month. Likewise, more than 90 percent of managers said that domestic business travel has either not been impacted at all or has not been impacted much during the past month.

“Although Ebola is top of mind across the country, its business as usual for most business travellers,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “But that is not to say that companies are not monitoring this outbreak closely. A majority of travel managers said they either are, or plan to provide, their employees with updated information on staying safe while travelling.”

According to McCormick, it is imperative that the government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide accurate and timely information to the public.

The poll found that more than one third (36 percent) of traveller managers are providing their road warriors with tips on staying safe, while 41 percent said they plan to do so in the future.

Although the majority of business domestic and international travellers aren’t changing their schedules, companies that do business in West Africa are making changes – but not by a wide margin. Fifty-two percent of travel managers who do business in West Africa said they are restricting travel to that part of the world.

In the U.S. a total of 421 corporate travel managers completed the online survey October 13 –October 15, 2014. Survey respondents represent more than $70 billion worth of travel spending.

GBTA will also be holding a webinar for its members, Risk Radar: Managing the Medical and Security Implications of the Ebola Epidemic – How will you protect your travellers? on October 22 at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar is the first instalment of a special Risk Radar webinar series brought to you by the GBTA Risk Committee, and it will examine the Ebola outbreak from both a medical and security perspective to help participants develop a comprehensive understanding of its implications to travellers.

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