Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corporate Travel Managers Assess Impact of Europe Shutdown

[Correction: ACTE is based in Alexandria, Va., not in the UK.]

Stranded travelers and canceled meetings were the two top effects cited by corporate travel managers in a new survey of the impact on business travelers of the volcanic ash crisis that shut down air travel in Europe.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), in a survey of its international membership, says that 31 percent of respondents claimed their greatest challenges resulted from stranded travelers and canceled meetings (as an equal priority). Nineteen percent cited stranded travelers as their primary concern, while canceled meetings were a major issue for 11 percent. Twenty-two percent checked "all of the above,' including stranded travelers, canceled meetings, reduced sales calls, and increased expenses. A remaining 11 percent said they were not affected at all.

ACTE is based in the UK. The ACTE president-elect, Chris Crowley says he is currently stranded in the United States.

Asked if air-travel disruptions in Europe were to continue for months or even a year, 29 percent of respondents said they would rely on a strategic response combining rail travel, ground transportation and electronic travel alternatives -- including video and Web conferencing. Thirteen percent reported they have a program for electronic travel and meeting alternatives in place now. Thirty-nine percent indicated they had both a strategic response and a plan in place now, while 19 percent felt confident they would need neither.


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