In the race to recovery, New Zealand may be leading the pack but South Africa claims second place in domestic business travel recovery post-Covid. However, there’s a stark gap between the two – New Zealand has reached 80% while SA and France have both 25% or pre-Covid travel volumes. South America and the Nordics reached between 15% and 20% recovery, while the US and Switzerland remain constrained with between just 1% and 10% recovery.

These stats were revealed in a white paper titled A fresh approach in a new world. What does it look like? that was released by FCM this week to mark the travel management company’s global rebrand. The white paper examines the current state of the travel market across all their regions and the challenges facing corporate travel in 2021, including government restrictions, lack of content availability, a tightening of approval processes, stringent health requirements and a hesitancy to travel.

Andrew Stark, MD Flight Centre Group Middle East and Africa, says that many countries are waiting to see how other countries and businesses adapt their business travel.  “South African companies are bolder in their approach and have shown a definite appetite for travel. Once the vaccine is more widely available, we expect to see a further stabilisation of the numbers,” he says.

Steve Norris, Corporate Managing Director EMEA, Flight Centre Travel Group, believes that tangible green shoots for corporate travel will follow a return in overseas leisure travel, which will make broader corporate travel feel more palatable and safer. “In the UK, we’re projecting to reach our recovery targets by late September and into October, and we’ll continue to support our travellers in establishing their comfort levels for return to travel throughout,” he says.

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