The Global Business Traveller Report 2020, surveyed 5000 business travellers and found 45 per cent now find ‘during’ a business trip the most stressful stage as opposed to before or after –a 50 per cent increase from that recorded the previous year. So, what is feeding this state and can it be alleviated?
None too surprisingly, the research, conducted by travel technology brand SAP Concur, found the ongoing global pandemic a catalyst for concern. When asked about the prospect of future business trips, 65 per cent of respondents cited personal health and safety while travelling as a top consideration. This was closely followed by concerns about infecting family members (55 per cent) and getting sick themselves (53 per cent).
When asked about responsibility, most travellers believed they were personally accountable for ensuring their health is protected during travel. However, a sizeable 18 per cent of those surveyed thought it was the duty of their employer.
As a consequence of the pandemic, most organisations have heightened their focus on duty of care. But this doesn’t stop at corporate responsibility. The health and wellbeing of travellers is also something now front and centre for the whole travel and hospitality industry.
The serviced accommodation sector has taken a proactive approach to reduce risk and encourage confidence in business travel. Moreover, it is also mindful of the additional stress the current situation poses to travellers and is stepping up its efforts to ease it where possible.
Serviced accommodation, by its very nature, makes social distancing effortless. It is easy to minimise social contact through remote check-in technology, there are few (if any) shared areas or facilities and many properties now supply cleaning equipment and products so travellers can take greater ownership of their space.
The International Serviced Accommodation Accreditation Programme ISAAP has also added COVID-specific criteria to its industry programme of accreditation, such as enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, so travellers can be confident when placing their booking that a property has been thoroughly assessed and qualified.
Collectively, it is hoped such steps will give travellers and their corporate employers greater peace of mind in what are, and will continue to be, uncertain times.