BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Business Travel Association Unveils Plan to Get Business Travelling again

Action needed now to re-ignite business travel which contributes £220 billion to UK GDP annually.

The Business Travel Association (BTA) is today calling on the Government to support the five step plan it has developed to get British business travelling again.

The plan calls for key actions on areas from the timeframe to travel, to international co-operation and clarity, protecting travellers, safe services and competitive pricing.

In letters to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, the CEO of the BTA, Clive Wratten, outlined the crucial areas of action and collaboration needed for business travel to re-ignite the UK economy.

Wratten says: “The business travel sector has a critical role to play in our economic recovery, with the 6.5 million journeys it arranges in a typical year contributing £220 billion to UK GDP. We have a duty to enable British business to travel, trade and stimulate the UK economy, hence why we have developed this plan which we are calling upon the Government to implement.”

“The outcome of the Government’s review of lockdown this week may provide a glimpse of the steps necessary for economic recovery. Yet, the business community is fully aware that recovery will be a gradual process, and one which needs careful planning and for Governments and industries to work closely together.”

The BTA recognises the many and complex challenges ahead in the fight against Covid-19, but firmly believes the following five key steps are necessary to get the business world travelling again:

  • Timeframe - Economies across the world are waiting for the first signs of an increase in demand for travel. Businesses are watching for borders, and the transport routes that link them, to open. In many countries, there is indefinite advice against “all but essential travel”. No one knows when travel can begin, and this missing date means consumers and businesses cannot be confident about future journeys. We need to move from a restriction of “All but essential” to “Essential business travel permitted”.
  • International co-operation and clarity - International coherence is needed about what behaviours will be expected of future business and leisure travellers. Inconsistencies or contradictory advice will cause chaos. For example, a 14-day quarantine required at both or even one end of a journey is a non-starter for global business executives. The BTA is arguing for a set of globally consistent guidelines on social distancing, the use of masks and other hygiene measures.
  • Protected travellers - Businesses are fully aware of the importance of face-to-face interactions in striking new deals, establishing partnerships and securing new business. Yet, even when Governments and travel providers give the green light, the need to ensure everyone stays safe will remain crucial. This requires insurance to cover employees when they travel and, in case of disruption or infection, that businesses’ actions won’t cause employee concern or dissent. The market needs to have these new policies readily and easily available.
  • Safe services - Corporate travel managers will have enhanced responsibilities in the post-Covid world - ensuring all necessary precautions have been taken to limit their colleagues’ exposure to Covid-19. This means airlines, airports, train companies, car rental firms, hotels and other accommodation providers will need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt, the steps they are taking to ensure cleanliness and social distancing. This could be overseen by travel associations such as the BTA across the globe with a recognisable marque provided to those who meet the criteria.
  • Competitive pricing: Economies are being squeezed; companies are under pressure. Hence, travel budgets for the latter half of this year, and for 2021, will be challenging. Consequently, all elements of the business travel supply chain will need to ensure they remain highly competitive on pricing. Achieving this requires government intervention and financial commitment today to keep struggling businesses afloat – both in the business travel sector and amongst those who buy from it.

The BTA’s five step plan is ambitious and requires effective cooperation and collaboration, between industries, countries and Governments. By working steadfastly together, the BTA and many allied industries can help get British businesses on the flight to recovery.

ENDS

About the BTA
The BTA is the authority on business travel. Working collaboratively across the industry and with the government to promote the integral role of business travel and events to the wider economy.

Originally founded in 1967, the BTA has a diverse membership and roster of industry partners. It’s TMC membership accounts for over 90% of UK expenditure on managed business travel, delivering value for money and great service to business travellers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The BTA’s members employ 12,000 people, making 32 million annual transactions which result in turnover in excess of £10 billion. The BTA focuses on delivering practical solutions to challenges and market changes, as well as supporting best practice, sustainability and the well-being of travellers.

For more information on BTA please visit: www.thebta.org.uk or call 020 3657 7010.

For more information about the BTA, please contact:
Charlie Hampton
Pembroke and Rye
Tel: +44 (0)7884 187297
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.