The polls show that business travel buyers reacted sensibly after the attacks in Paris by communicating with travelers and bulking up their security plans rather than calling off trips altogether.
Most businesses in the United States and Europe did not change European travel plans following the November terrorist attacks in Paris, new polls show.
With its European partners, the Global Business Travel Association asked business travel buyers in the United States and Europe how their companies’ travel plans had been affected by the Nov. 13 massacres that killed 130 people.
In the U.S., 81 percent of travel buyers said their company made no changes when it came to European travel, while 9 percent said travel to the continent had been slightly reduced. Just 1 percent said travel was frozen entirely, and another 1 percent said it was greatly reduced. Seventy percent said it was very important for business travel to continue as usual, while another 24 percent said that was somewhat important.
Among travel buyers in Europe, 75 percent said the Paris attacks and following security lockdown in Brussels resulted in no change at all to travel within Europe. Another 20 percent said travel in Europe was slightly reduced. No buyer said travel ceased or was greatly reduced. Keeping travel unchanged was very important to 60 percent of respondents and somewhat important to another 30 percent.
“The fact is that we’ve reached a new normal in managing risk, and business travel buyers are taking steps in their travel programs to improve communication, put in place duty of care policies and improve safety and security of travelers,” Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of the GBTA, said in a statement. “While businesses, government and the travel industry need to continue to work together to ensure a safe and secure travel system, it is heartening to see this increased confidence in our global travel system.”
While changing little about actual travel plans, buyers did take some action: 45 percent of them in the United States issued communications to travelers about responding to emergency situations when they were on the road for business. Among European buyers, 36 percent did the same. More than 20 percent of buyers in both areas said they enhanced safety and security measures for travelers to all international destinations.
Eighty-five travel buyers from Europe and 135 from the U.S. participated in the online polls, which were conducted in mid-January.
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Photo credit: Tourists in the lobby of Paris' Louvre Museum. Skift