As More Companies Require Vaccines Internally, Corporate Travel Pros Support Government Mandates For Travel And Dining
About three in four corporate travel suppliers, intermediaries and buyers believe that for international flying, governments should require passengers to prove they have been fully vaccinated against the virus that causes Covid-19. In the Global Business Travel Association’s October survey of 503 business travel professionals around the world, 69 percent said they supported vaccine mandates for conferences, meetings and events; 65 percent for rail travel; 65 percent for domestic flights; 53 percent for eating in restaurants; and 51 percent for staying in a hotel. Support for such mandates was a bit stronger among suppliers than buyers.
Google Flights search results include estimated carbon emissions as of this month. Though some questioned the data and the methodology behind it, many welcomed the development as the travel industry claims a laser focus on environmental protection. Meanwhile, Serko is among the corporate booking tool providers with new point-of-sale emissions displays. More travel managers are demanding such features. Travelers need actionable info if they’re going to do their part.
CWT parent Carlson Travel Inc. is anticipating a return to positive cash flow in 2024 when the travel management company is back to 70 percent of its 2019 booked dollar volume. Next year, the value of transactions processed would be at 40 percent relative to 2019, followed by 57 percent in 2023, according to projections published in the company’s bankruptcy disclosure statement. Total transactions handled would be at 52 percent next year, followed by 68 percent and 79 percent in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The average value per transaction would rise to $420 in 2024 (10 percent lower than in 2019) from $365 next year.
To execute its recapitalization, CWT expects to file for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization as soon as this month. Legal experts see signs supporting the company’s view that it will emerge on solid footing. In a “prepack,” a company aims to quickly fulfill the bankruptcy legalities, achieve approvals and get back to business. A large portion of creditors agree to the plan in advance.
The pandemic made more companies question the value of business travel, but at the same time, reliance on the partners that help manage it grew. According to a Global Business Travel Association survey last month, for every travel buyer respondent who said reliance was down, three said their firms were somewhat or much more reliant on TMC services and support. Corporate travel managers worry that staffing shortages and tech spending limits will hamper these partners’ ability to rise to the occasion.
By the holiday season, flying will have changed dramatically for Americans returning to the United States from abroad. They will be asked to show proof that they are vaccinated, to commit to two coronavirus tests if they are not and to participate in a new contact-tracing system. For Americans traveling within the U.S., however, none of this applies. As airlines prepare for what’s expected to be the biggest travel rush of the past two years, domestic travel — aside from a mask mandate and some restrictions on alcohol — will be largely the same as it was before the pandemic: packed cabins and no testing or proof of vaccination required.
Brand standards govern the responsibilities of property owners and operators. Ranging from design, maintenance and renovations to operations, amenities and customer services, they support consistent experiences and define brands. Prominent among them are specifications for food and beverage service and housekeeping. Failure by an individual property to meet standards could mean losing the brand affiliation. But when the pandemic hit, many properties closed and brands relaxed standards.