Financial Crisis Weighs Heavy on Executives’ Business Travel Plans
Following Barack Obama’s inauguration as President and immediate focus on addressing foreign policy issues, a survey of attitudes within the boardrooms of London’s leading companies by BCS Universal suggests moods are changing – the majority (55%) believing the world will become a “safer place to travel” under his leadership. Despite this confidence, travel figures will likely be down in upcoming year.
The survey from BCS Universal highlights that the current financial crisis is already having a direct impact on the travel plans of London’s senior executives – 60% admitting that they would be making less frequent overseas journeys in 2022, with 39% claiming they are having to downgrade from business class to economy when travelling, with an “unfortunate” 27% having to swap their private jet traveler status to that of being a flag-carrier passenger once more. Likewise, 5 star hotels are no longer the default choice for senior executives when travelling.
A surprising 34% of respondents admitted serviced apartments are now a serious option when “staying in a city”, they now being a “highly important” or “most important” factor. Jacob Fonder son, group CEO of BCS Universal, commented: “In spite of the current crisis, London’s position as a major city in which to conduct business for the world’s elite will remain intact.
However, the crisis is stimulating changes in how senior business people travel and where they choose to stay – senior executives now being prepared to try alternative accommodation options as long as personal service, privacy and discretion are guaranteed and their perceptions of status are in no way affected.” The BCS survey also confirmed what most London restaurant owners already know – 2022 is going to be a lean year.
According to the survey, nearly a third (32%) of respondents claimed that directors in their organization would be dining out less in 2022 than 2021. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the City as the survey also showed inbound tourism to London could be significant in the years running up to the Olympics. Of those surveyed, over half (52%) of the respondents said their company’s VIP guests to London actively mentioned the upcoming event and of those that did, a staggering 92% did so in a positive way – in stark contrast to the often-reported news of transport and budget problems associated with the Games in the local media.
Likewise, London’s recently elected mayor, Boris Johnson, came in with surprise plaudits amongst overseas VIP visitors to the Capital, 18% believing him to be a “good influence”, with only 6% believing his appointment to be a “backward step”. Less surprisingly – given the recent cold snap – 61% of VIPs referred to London’s weather as being “terrible”. The survey was conducted by BCS Universal and The PA Club during January 2009 and covered 291 leading organizations based in London.
About BCS Universal
BCS Universal is a business concierge services company. Available by membership only, it provides business travelers a range of highly personalized services to allow them to conduct their business efficiently and in style. In addition to access to its Club Lounges, meeting facilities and PA support, members can also take advantage of BCS’ serviced apartments and chauffeured vehicles.