Business travelers can help the overall situation by using common sense precautions, focusing on the facts, and taking a calm approach.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Business travel has not experienced any major effects from the Ebola outbreak, according to a poll of travel managers conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.
About 80% of the managers said international business travel has either not been affected at all or has not been affected much during the past month. Likewise, more than 90% of managers said that domestic business travel has either not been diminished at all or has not by much during the past month.
“Although Ebola is top of mind across the country, its business as usual for most business travelers,” said GBTA executive director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “But that is not to say that companies are not monitoring this outbreak closely. A majority of travel managers said they either are, or plan to provide, their employees with updated information on staying safe while traveling.”
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It is imperative that the government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide accurate and timely information to the public, McCormick said.
The poll found that more than one third (36%) of traveler managers are providing their road warriors with tips on staying safe, while 41 percent said they plan to do so in the future.
Although most business domestic and international travelers aren’t changing their schedules, companies that do business in West Africa are making changes – but not by a wide margin. 52% of travel managers who do business in West Africa said they are restricting travel to that part of the world.
In the U.S. a total of 421 corporate travel managers completed the online survey Oct. 13 to Oct. 15, 2014. Survey respondents represent more than $70 billion worth of travel spending.
GBTA will also be holding a webinar for its members, Risk Radar: Managing the Medical and Security Implications of the Ebola Epidemic – How will you protect your travelers?, on Oct. 22 at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar is the first installment of a special Risk Radar webinar series brought to you by the GBTA Risk Committee, and it will examine the Ebola outbreak from both a medical and security perspective to help participants develop a comprehensive understanding of its implications to travelers.