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Managing Your Travel Program During A Crisis

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The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and put pressure on the world at large. Flights have been grounded, hotels are empty, and business travel programs are now restricted.

We can’t predict how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last or how long it will restrict travel. But eventually, the travel business will return. Will you be ready to hit the ground running when it does?

Travel Industry Predictions

There are several factors to consider in how your travel and travel risk program will look at the end of the COVID-19 crisis. From travel vendor resilience to the mindset of your business travelers themselves, we can be sure that the world of the business traveler will be slightly different.

From a logistical standpoint, we believe that the return of flights and travel will be a slow, gradual one. Some experts believe it may take 12-18 months to resume full capacity.

Once travel restrictions are lifted, it will be important to factor in this ramp-up period when planning future business travel. We can expect to see more meetings and large events held digitally to mitigate the need to travel.

For situations where travel is absolutely necessary, work with your TMC to book well in advance. Booking travel at the last minute will be much harder until the travel industry returns to its full capacity.

What To Do Right Now

Your Travel Program may be halted for the time being, but if we assume that it will resume in the future, then there are important steps you can be taking now to ensure future compliance, efficiency, and success.

Risk Assessment

We strongly recommend that all organizations complete a risk assessment on their core business processes. You want to identify and prioritize emerging risks as well as gaps in your current policies.

Use this time to prepare for new scenarios such as pandemics, recessions, natural disasters, and geopolitical conditions risks.

Keep an open line of communication with your TMC

COVID-19 has had a large impact on the travel industry, and some businesses may not be able to weather the storm.

It’s important to openly communicate with your TMC and essential providers so that you know what to expect in terms of future service. We strongly recommend having a backup plan or two so your organization is not left without support during a critical time.

Support your team

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, make sure you’re providing your team with support during this stressful time.

As we all adjust to the “new normal,” your employees are going to be facing a new set of challenges. For those working from home, they are likely dealing with disruptions they didn’t face at the office as well as concerns about keeping their families safe and healthy.

Encourage your team to follow a set schedule. Maintain regular work hours and don’t give in to the temptation to work overtime, as this will quickly lead to burnout. Take frequent breaks for lunch or coffee. And most importantly, encourage connection and collaboration with your staff. This can be a lonely time, but phone or video calls with other members of the team remind everyone that we’re in this together.

Direct Travel is here for you and your travelers whenever you need us, 24/7/365. Our team of experienced professionals have assisted our customers in weathering many storms in the past, and we will continue to support you in any way we can as we weather this storm as well. Please contact us for any travel needs, and we look forward to bluer skies in the future.

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