Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) have enabled Singaporeans corporate travel bookings to blossom as the travel management company FCM has revealed that bookings have increased by 89 per cent.
Moreover, FCM reveals that VTLs have caused travel bookings in Germany to double since they were implemented in early September to resume corporate travelling for fully vaccinated travellers. However, VTL travellers must undergo a COVID test before travelling, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Vic Parris, the Vice-President for Customer Success in Asia, admits that corporate travel will take some time to recover but she highlights the importance of implementing VTL.
“There is no doubt corporate travel will take some time to recover. However, we expect this momentum to continue especially as we head into year-end, as companies and travellers’ travel intent remains high, especially to VTL destinations,” Parris said.
Moreover, according to Parris, Germany has been listed as the top destination for Singaporeans travelling abroad, replacing the USA that held the first position on this list. FCM’s data also shows that almost 100 per cent of travellers leave Munich and Frankfurt board on VTL flights in order to prevent quarantine requirements upon reaching Singapore.
FCM highly acclaims corporate travellers’ willingness to pick VTLs, with Parris saying that corporate travel and customer experience are getting a new lease of life.
“We are seeing a very positive outlook with corporate travellers eager to embrace the VTLs. With the pandemic taking its toll on relationships and mental well-being, we also noticed a change in the purpose of travel among our clients,” said Parris.
During September, the company witnessed an increase in clients’ bookings for leisure and home leaves, which accounted for a third of total bookings. Before September, these reasons for booking only accounted for about five per cent of all reservations.
The majority of bookings came from Europeans who wanted to see their families after being apart for more than 18 months. While many of them picked the Singapore-Germany VTL for business reasons, numerous travellers took the chance to meet with their families or use extra days for leisure in their trips.
To encourage people to book more flights, airlines with VTL flights offered discounts on economy seats by an average of 60 per cent post-VTL announcement. Moreover, business class ticket costs’ have increased by 15 per cent as airlines aim to generate revenues from businesses and corporate travellers, as they are less affected by seats’ costs.
FCM’s representative, Parris, also said that it would be predictable for airlines to charge more in a bid to make up for losses of the pandemic. However, FCTG and FCM do realize that people’s confidence to travel takes time to rebuild.