Health & safety still top concerns for Malaysian business travellers

KUALA LUMPUR – Health and safety threats from the COVID-19 pandemic remain the top concerns for almost two-thirds of Malaysian corporate travellers as business travel returns, according to a new survey by SAP Concur.

While business travel was resuming at a steady pace, the effects of the unprecedented health crisis can still be felt, especially in Malaysia.

“Health and safety remain as the top concerns for 72 per cent of Malaysian business travellers against 63 per cent in the Asia Pacific (APAC), followed by diminished travel budget (48 per cent) and uncertainty around changing business travel policies (43 per cent),” the integrated travel, expense and invoice management solutions provider said in a statement today.

The survey polled 100 corporate travellers in Malaysia, along with 950 from the APAC markets of China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

It revealed that Malaysian business travellers continue to expect flexible arrangements in selecting their preferred mode of accommodation (58 per cent) and travel (51 per cent) to protect their health and safety while travelling.

The survey also found that having more control over their trip schedule is considered to be critical for Malaysian business travellers’ well-being, as 61 per cent expect their companies to allow them to decide how long their trip will be compared to 43 per cent in the APAC.

Meanwhile, 61 per cent of the Malaysian respondents also deem it essential to have the ability to book their travels directly through supplier websites to protect their health and safety and 48 per cent expect to be able to change travel plans without repercussions.

SAP Concur South East Asia managing director, Dr Carl Jones said it was interesting that employees in the region seem to be more concerned about health and safety compared to other markets in the world.

He noted that organisations that have not put in place travel policies and technologies to safeguard employees’ health and safety, or ensure travel flexibility, would have to take the appropriate action soon. – Bernama / pic Muhd Amin Naharul