The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge of virtual events and meetings this year. Although technology and quality upgrades have made the virtual experience better than ever before, the reality remains the same: in some cases, there is simply no replacement for a face-to-face meeting.
So, it’s great news that parts of the country and the world are once again opening for business travelers. Meeting capacities are increasing, host sites are updating their policies to make gatherings safe, and the world of in-person events is slowly coming back. If you’re planning an in-person meeting or event near or far, here’s what to know.
Regional travel is a fantastic option because it eliminates the complication of air travel. Instead of flying, business travelers can drive their own car or even rent a car to reach their destination. They will feel not only safer, but also more in control of their journey. Whenever possible, regional travel is a great way for your employees to safely and conveniently resume face-to-face meetings or events.
Many state leaders have begun to ease restrictions around travel and events. While these policies could change at any moment based on the number of new cases, many states are now open to travelers, in-person meetings, or larger group events.
The most important part of domestic travel is to make sure your employees feel comfortable with both their mode of transportation as well as their lodgings. A business trip to another region of the country will likely include air travel as well as a hotel stay, so make sure your travelers are confident in the safety and sanitation policies those businesses have in place.
Planning an international meeting or group event can be trickier due to travel restrictions. The most important thing is to make sure you are monitoring current rules and regulations.
Mexico and Canada, for example, are still not accepting visitors from the United States. Meanwhile, European Union countries are working through new travel guidelines. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has created a map that will be updated on a weekly basis — the map displays regions in green, orange, or red depending on the number of new COVID-19 cases as well as the test-positivity rate. Travelers from green regions will not face travel restrictions while travelers from orange or red regions can expect enforced quarantines or mandatory testing.
On the other hand, some destinations are ready to reopen their borders for business events and gatherings. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai, for example, are ready to welcome travelers for business gatherings and international meetings.
No matter where you’re looking to travel, whether you’re attending an in-person meeting or hosting an event, the most important thing is to stay up-to-date on local travel restrictions. And because they could change at any time, it never hurts to have a back-up plan (or two!)
Looking for a travel management company that will act as a true partner and help you evaluate the health and safety practices of businesses within the travel industry? Contact the team at Professional Travel today.
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