Major events — from global pandemics like the one we’re in now to natural disasters and terrorist attacks — often have a deep and lasting impact on business travel.
Currently, COVID-19 has all but halted business travel. While experts aren’t sure about the timeline, most agree that business travel will eventually resume. When it does, how can travel managers ensure their travelers will be protected in the event of a future crisis?
Having a crisis plan
During a crisis, it’s critical for companies to be prepared with a plan instead of simply reacting to the situation as it unfolds. After all, priorities and conditions are constantly shifting during an emergency. Having a plan enables travel managers to respond quickly and decisively even in dynamic situations.
One of the most important ways to prepare for a crisis is to have an internal assignment of roles that is clearly communicated to all members of the company. By removing any doubt about who is responsible for what, companies can act quickly when time is of the essence to ensure traveler safety.
It’s especially important right now for travel managers to evaluate where current policies may have fallen short in addressing the coronavirus outbreak. This information can help create stronger policies moving forward to protect business travelers.
Importance of hotel attachment
Hotel attachments have long been a point of friction between business travelers and travel managers. Traveler itineraries often remain incomplete with no hotel data included.
COVID-19 put the importance of hotel attachments into perspective. When the coronavirus outbreak struck, travel managers weren’t able to get out in front of the crisis as quickly if they didn’t know where their business travelers were staying.
When the hotel booking is attached to the airline reservation, companies are able to maintain duty of care in the event of an emergency or crisis. Travel managers can quickly locate travelers and take action to bring them safely home.
Moving forward, policies should require employees to book through managed travel channels, and employee training should be aimed at helping travelers understand exactly why this policy is so important to their safety.
Trusting the experts
Do you have a trusted travel partner to assist with risk management?
The experts at travel management companies are your greatest ally during an emergency. TMCs can provide employee tracking, crisis tracking, threat assessment on a global scale, and work with you to get travelers safely home under any circumstances.
As companies look for ways save money in the current economic climate, TMCs can also help them identify where they can cut costs while still prioritizing duty of care and ensuring that their travelers feel safe.
Looking for a TMC to become your trusted travel partner? Contact Professional Travel to find out how we can help you save money while still prioritizing Duty of Care and crisis management.
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