Nik Fes - Feb 17, 2020
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The uncertain political situation is slowing down the economy – business travel is particularly affected, a survey shows.

In addition to the effects of the coronavirus, the global economy has recently been affected by riots, wars or trade conflicts. Four out of five companies currently see major effects on their economic situation. This is the result of a recent survey by AirPlus International among more than 400 managing directors from Europe, the USA and Asia.

Italians are particularly critical of the current global politics: 93 percent see difficulties for their business, and skepticism is also high in France (85 percent) and China (83 percent). German companies are still the most positive in this respect, with just under half (42 percent) seeing no impact, compared with one third in the USA.

Political instability has a negative effect on foreign trade and thus also affects business travel. According to figures from the AirPlus Business Travel Index, the continuing protests in Hong Kong, for example, led to massive slumps in business travel there. Compared to the second half of 2018, there were one-third fewer trips to the Chinese special administrative zone in 2019 from Italy alone. There were also significant declines from Switzerland (-24.3 percent), Germany (-18.5 percent) and France (-17.2 percent), as the figures of the provider of solutions for the daily management of business travel show. The impact of terrorist attacks is therefore even more serious: Following the attack in and at Istanbul-Atatürk Airport on June 28, 2016, flight bookings by business travelers from European companies to Istanbul Airport dropped by almost two thirds (62.7 percent) at short notice.

For the survey, a total of 424 top managers in Germany, USA, China, Italy and France, including CEOs, finance and sales directors were interviewed.

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