NT News

Covid resets corporate travel policies

- ROBYN IRONSIDE

THE Covid crisis has not quite killed off the business trip as was predicted early on in the pandemic, but it has triggered a reset of corporate travel policies with more emphasis on the environmen­t and employee wellbeing.

Already a host of large companies have committed to less business travel in the years ahead, including Pfizer, Hersheys and Deutsche Bank, while confection­ary giant Mars has adopted the mantra that travel should be “for purpose not presence”.

Surprising­ly perhaps, the Global Business Travel Associatio­n’s

Australia and New Zealand director Tony O’Connor thinks those companies are on the right track.

Despite representi­ng agencies that book business travel for the private and public sector, Mr O’Connor said the pandemic had forced a muchneeded rethink of the work trip. “Prior to the pandemic the travel policy was something of a dormant document, a policy that was only revisited every few years or so,” he said.

“Now it’s going to be much more active, constantly updated. This really is our opportunit­y to rebuild better and cut travel right down to make it more efficient and to reduce its (environmen­tal) damage.”

Melissa Elf, Australian general manager of corporate travel company FCM, said they were expecting a 20 per cent reduction in business travel as a result of a major pandemic reset.

“Our customers are certainly telling us they need to get back on planes but there’s more awareness now of the importance of looking after their people and the need for sustainabl­e travel,” she said.

Corporate Travel Management managing director Jamie Pherous said demand for sustainabl­e travel was strong, particular­ly among European clients. He said being seen to be a responsibl­e citizen was fast becoming as important as a company’s balance sheet.

But he said the company was seeing no sign of a decline in demand for business travel in markets that had opened up: “Our domestic travel in places like China, New Zealand, even Western Australia, is greater than it was pre-Covid.”

 ??  ?? Jamie Pherous.
Jamie Pherous.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia