The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) recently surveyed the travel managers of 109 international companies, and the results of this survey indicate that the business travel plans of a majority of these companies have not been impacted by the H1N1 flu (swine flu) virus.
In the survey, 91% of those surveyed said that H1N1 is not stopping them from scheduling meetings and conferences. And and even more impressive 96% said that their business travelers were not asking to postpone or cancel scheduled trips during the flu season.
The study was released by ACTE at a conference in Prague. The change in attitude towards swine flu by business travelers is remarkable, given that back in May 2009, a similar ACTE survey had found that 37% of companies worldwide were either canceling meetings or restricting travelers from attending them.
While the new data from the latest ACTE survey suggests that business travel is now immune to the swine flu, don’t shake on it yet. ACTE Executive Director Susan Gurley said that a random polling of ACTE members has revealed it would be easier to drop the traditional handshake, for the duration of the health crisis — should one develop — as opposed to sneezing or coughing into a sleeve.
But travel as a whole hasn’t yet reached a point where swine flu isn’t a factor. The October 2009 travelhorizons survey – a joint effort by Ypartnership and the U.S. Travel Association, suggests that major outbreaks could have a big impact on a destination’s leisure travel.
One third of the respondents planning to travel in the next 6 months said they would most likely change travel plans if their destination reported an outbreak of swine flu in the interim. Of those who said they would alter travel plans, 45% said they would postpone the trip and 31% said they would cancel it altogether.
To top it off, President Obama last week declared the H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, which – while considered a prudent safety measure, nevertheless has had the effect of focusing national and international attention on the fact that 46 out of 50 states now have widespread cases of the swine flu virus.
More details about the ACTE surveys related to swine flu can be found on their website – www.acte.org/
And here’s a few tips from the U.S. Travel Assoc.. you might want to go through, if you’re a travel company or organization dealing with issues related to H1N1.
Photo by The Artifex