The impact of COVID-19 on corporate travel | The Planner

To help their clients navigate the COVID-19 crisis, FCM Travel Solutions has conducted and published a global State of the Market report on how the pandemic is affecting corporate travel.

‘Travel & Expense’ was named as the common item to be reduced moving into 2021.

Here are some of its top findings:

  • Since April 2020, 66% of businesses have changed their organisation’s structure, while 33% of businesses have reduced their staff compliment and downsized their offices.
  • Of these, large global enterprise businesses (FMC’s main customer base) were more likely to have restructured and reduced employee numbers.
  • Only 13% of businesses indicated that they would not have to make any changes to their financial targets in the year ahead.
  • Only 26% of businesses said they are planning to return to the same pre-COVID-19 levels for domestic travel during 2021, with the remaining 74% of businesses anticipating reduced domestic travel for this same period.
  • ‘Travel & Expense’ was named as the common item to be reduced moving into 2021, followed by ‘Office/Building Expenses’ and ‘Workforce Restructures’.
Bonnie Smith, GM FCM Southern Africa

Bonnie Smith, GM FCM Southern Africa, says that while reducing costs is important right now, reducing travel is not necessarily the best way to do this; “Ultimately, the focus should not be on cutting down [on corporate travel], but rather on maximising the funds available… After all, travel should be seen as an investment.”

“Travel should be seen as an investment.”

To help companies save money, FCM has published a whitepaper on how to identify missed savings and optimise travel programmes. It can be downloaded here.

Smith adds, “Now that borders have reopened and travel is resuming, it has become more critical than ever before for companies to have a solid travel policy. This policy needs to include set guidelines around traveller safety, budgets, required documentation and purpose for travel, while empowering employees to use careful judgement when booking and incurring travel expenses. Turn to your travel management company for advice.”

You can access the State of the Market report here.