The National Business Travel Association’s (www.nbta.org) latest survey, released October 1, found that 70 percent of the more than 200 corporate travel managers surveyed anticipate a recovery in business travel within three to six months. Only 12 percent said they expected recovery in nine months, and 18 percent 10 months or longer.

Seventy-one percent said the government management of airport security would be extremely important in getting business travelers to schedule a trip. Other factors cited as extremely important include discount fare availability, an elimination of Saturday night stay rules, and getting rid of 21-day advance purchase restrictions.

A previous survey, which NBTA conducted September 18, found that that 58% of corporate travel managers say their companies will reduce travel, while 23% were unsure and 19% did not anticipate that their firms would reduce travel. Of those reducing travel, 65% are doing so immediately. The new survey asked them what would cause them to lift current travel restrictions put into place following the 9/11 attacks. Forty-six percent said that increased security would be the deciding factor; 30 percent said it would be the economic condition of their individual firm. This issue appeared to be split between the coast, with East coast firms more concerned about security, and West coast firms more concerned about the economic condition of their company.

The survey also found that being able to ensure passenger security would be key to resuming business travel in the next six months, particularly for smaller companies who spend less than $5 million on air travel annually.

For full coverage of the aftermath of 9/11, go to Meetingsnet 9/11 Special Report