Organisations are set to alter their business travel budgets significantly because of the growing travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the change in corporate travel budgets over the next 12 months in the backdrop of COVID-19.

Analysis of the poll results shows that a majority 55% of the respondents believe that corporate travel budgets will reduce over the next 12 months. While 43% of the respondents foresee a significant cut in the budgets, 12% anticipate a moderate reduction.

On the contrary, 28% of the respondents voted that corporate travel budgets will increase, including 16% who anticipate a significant increase and 12% who foresee a moderate increase.

Corporate travel budgets will remain unchanged and unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to another 16% of the respondents.

T&T pollThe analysis is based on 347 responses received from the readers of Hotel Management Network, a Verdict network site, between 17 November 2020 and 16 April 2021.

Corporate travel budgets amid COVID-19

Corporate travel declined by 89% during the corornavirus pandemic in the US, comapred to 11% after the World Trade Center attack in 2011 and 8% during the 2008 Great Recession, according to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), an industry body focused on the global business travel industry.

As companies slash their travel budgets dramatically, some organisations have shifted to virtual meetings while conventions and conferences have been compressed. Experts believe that corporate travel will have to be re-assessed and revamped to make every meeting or trip count, while placing employees’ health and costs into perspective.

The GBTA adds that corporate travel is expected to increase by 21% by the end of 2021 and siginifcantly improve in 2022 owing to COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. Spending on business travel, however, is expected to witness a sluggish growth in 2023, before reaching to pre-pandemic levels at $1.4 trillion by the end of 2024 and recovering fully by 2025.