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Business travel in Europe holding up despite Paris attacks: survey

[BERLIN] Business travel in Europe is holding up despite last month's attacks in Paris, with only a small percentage of travel buyers halting trips, according to a survey published on Thursday.

Airlines and travel technology firms say flight bookings dropped in the immediate aftermath of the Nov 13 attacks, which left 130 people dead, but analysts say this was mainly down to leisure travellers, who are more sensitive to security concerns.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) said its survey of travel buyers showed 79 per cent of European business travel buyers believed it was important that travel within Europe continued as usual despite the recent terrorist activity.

Of those surveyed, only 1 per cent said they had temporarily suspended travel within Europe, while 47 per cent reported no change and 26 per cent said their company's travel within Europe was slightly reduced. "This resiliency, however, only heightens the need for businesses, governments and the travel industry to work together to ensure a global travel system that is both safe and secure," Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, said in a statement on Thursday.

The survey of 236 European travel buyers from 12 countries was conducted online from Nov 25-30.

The European survey echoes the results from a similar GBTA poll in the United States, which found that nearly three quarters of US business travel buyers said their companies' travel to Europe would remain largely unaffected by the attacks.

GBTA's 7,000-plus members manage more than US$345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually.