|February 12, 2016|
ACTE Survey - Most Companies Report Zika Virus Has Little Effect On Travel
|Major companies around the world are keeping a close watch on the Zika virus, according to the latest survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, but 55 percent are reporting "very little" impact on business travel throughout the infected countries (in the Pacific, the Caribbean and Central and South America). While 79 percent of the survey's 113 respondents stated their travellers had "no reluctance" about journeying through these regions, twenty-one percent did express misgivings. Four percent indicated that travellers were "considerably" concerned and only 2 of the 113 companies had instituted travel restrictions.|
"The lessons of the 2014 Ebola epidemic are still fresh in everyone's mind," said Greeley Koch, ACTE's executive director. "Back then, facts changed on a weekly basis, as did the response levels of governments and government health agencies. Everyone is expecting new Zika data and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are being passed onto travellers as quickly as possible." Koch added 53 percent of survey respondents have issued such communications, and will continue to do so in the future.
Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents said they relied on CDC advisories for information, with third-party risk/security advisors providing data to an additional 62 percent. Industry media coverage corroborated Zika virus data for 38 percent with another 20 percent including mainstream media coverage. Local health agencies constituted resources for 34 percent, though it is likely that business travel managers are considering multiple source of information as they become available, according to Koch.
For the majority of companies, the Zika virus situation is being handled by the travel department (80 percent) and shared with crisis management/security (72 percent). Human resource management followed third (40 percent), with CEO and upper management overseeing operations (20 percent).
The survey was international in scope to meet ACTE's membership. Respondent companies were located in Africa (22%) with 73 percent of their travellers visiting the regions in question; South America (30%) with 66 percent of travellers in the area; the Middle East (27%) with 65 percent of their travellers in the region; Asia/Australasia (30%) with 61 percent of travellers moving through the infected locales; Europe (27%) with 51 percent of travellers in the region; and North America (22%) with 36 percent of travellers conducting business through the Zika domain.
ACTE leadership is participating in the LACTE 11 (Latin American Corporate Travel Experience) February 16, hosted by ALAGEV --- Associação Latino Americana de Gestores de Eventos e Viagens --- in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "This is my fourth year representing ACTE at this event and my colleagues and I will take reasonable precautions," said Koch. "But we didn't think of canceling."
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is a non-profit education and research organization serving the global business travel industry in 51 countries. Since 1988, ACTE has provided unique programs for travel managers and innovative policies that improve conditions for business travellers, while substantially increasing corporate revenue. ACTE currently leads the business travel industry with more events worldwide, managed through offices in Asia, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with representation in Latin America, South America, and Africa. No other travel trade association can make that claim.