Despite the crisis in business travel and MICE: Sustainability is becoming more important according to one in three business travelers
Berlin, Germany - 3 September 2020 - Until the beginning of the year, the topic of sustainability was on everyone's lips - including business travelers. 91 percent of them considered it "important" or "very important" at the time to make sure that their travel arrangements were environmentally friendly. Then came Corona and shifted priorities: More than half of business travelers now believe that sustainability will be less important when traveling in the future. As many as 36 percent are convinced that the importance will increase, and 11 percent believe that nothing will change, according to the latest study "Chefsache Business Travel 2020", an initiative of travel management companies in the German Travel Association (DRV).
Business travelers want to place greater emphasis on environmental friendliness, especially when choosing accommodation. 36 percent of those surveyed have set themselves this goal. And 33 percent plan to pay an eco surcharge for climate protection projects more often in the future. And 32 percent intend to avoid packaging waste more often in the near future. However, some plans also have a negative impact on the ecological footprint. For example, 26 percent would like to place significantly less emphasis on climate-friendly travel by bus and train in the future. And 28 percent say that they intend to use public transport less frequently in future instead of taking a cab.
"Business travelers do not want to run the risk of infection while on the move and are therefore relying more heavily on private transport than before the pandemic. This has once again intensified the competition between road and rail," says Florian Storp, Chairman of the Business Travel Committee of the DRV. "In return, many want to make a contribution to climate protection elsewhere. How can I get from A to B in a climate-friendly way? It is helpful if corresponding criteria are stored in the company's travel guidelines.
Before Corona, sustainability played an important role in companies
Even if health protection is currently even more important, the issue of sustainability is likely to remain present not only among employees, but also among their employers. A look back shows this. In two out of three companies before Corona, the sustainability of the travel connection was "always" or at least "mostly" taken into account. Companies that worked with a business travel agency were particularly environmentally friendly. In almost 90 percent of the companies, "always" or "mostly" value was placed on sustainability. Nevertheless, the influence of the business travelers on the booking should not be underestimated. 95 percent of those surveyed booked at least some of their travel themselves - making appropriate travel policies all the more important.
"Eight out of ten business travelers value speed and simplicity when booking," says Storp. "However, those who want to make business travel more sustainable often have a lot of research to do. The experts in the business travel agencies provide uncomplicated assistance in selecting environmentally friendly accommodation and means of transport - without wasting unnecessary time".
E-scooters as an additional alternative
At the destination in particular, there are various ways of reconciling health and climate protection by choosing the right mode of transport: E-scooters, for example, are among the environmentally friendly vehicles used by three-quarters of business travelers. Almost three quarters of those surveyed have even taken a test drive with them; three out of ten even use the electric scooters frequently.
The main argument in favor of e-scooters is their flexible availability. 80 percent of those surveyed estimate that they are available in many places. In addition, 77 percent like the fact that they are fast and agile in city traffic. However, there are also reservations about the means of transport. After all, three quarters of business travelers consider them unsuitable for business travel. And 72 percent even find it dangerous to drive.
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