Ever since the beginning of the pandemic and the decline of business travel, companies have had to adapt to the new reality and adjust their businesses to suit the new reality. It is clear that some companies are having an easier time existing with a temporary pause to their business travel but for other companies travel is an essential part of their business.
As time goes on, companies and countries are bringing forth new initiatives to aid these enterprises and enable business travel, at least to some extent.
Countries realize the importance that travel has on a myriad of levels, from the mental wellbeing of citizens to the vital role it has on the economy. Therefore, many countries are constantly balancing these necessities with safety concerns to determine where it is safe to travel to, and where it is safe to accept travelers from. A ‘travel corridor’ is created when a country decides to allow citizens of another country to enter, whether with or without quarantine.
Possibly the most influential travel corridor that is being planned is that between two global financial centers, New York and London. In fact, the route between these two cities was declared the most lucrative route of 2019 for airlines, so it’s no surprise that many parties are interested in the revival of this route.
While some countries are examining general travel corridors, some are setting up specific travel corridors for business travelers with a unique set of guidelines that can minimize risk while maximizing benefit to business travelers.
One such travel corridor has recently been set up between Singapore and Japan. Finance and Logistics have been highlighted by the Japanese government as fields where business travel between the two countries is vital. Business travelers will need to have COVID-19 tests both before departure and after arrival and will need to adhere to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days in the receiving country. Both Japan and Singapore are in talks with a number of other countries in order to replicate this concept with other destinations that are vital to their local economies.
Alongside policies and regulations at the country-level, travel companies are also trying to encourage business travel by making it easier for businesses to send their employees abroad.
One example is Eurostar, the train service connecting some of the major European cities, which has recently launched ‘Eurostar for Business’. This program encourages businesses to book travel through Eurostar by offering incentives and having a dedicated interface to make their lives easier. While this may seem like a curious time to launch new travel programs, it actually makes a lot of sense in a time where businesses are itching to get back to travel but may still feel hesitant about sending employees on planes.
As we’ve previously noted, COVID-19 will be with us for some time. Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses with essential travel needs have been finding ways to get their employees abroad, but as both companies and policy-makers realize that Coronavirus isn’t going to suddenly disappear, efforts are being made to enable business travel in a convenient and safe manner. The growing understanding of the potential risks of traveling has helped these countries and businesses craft unique programs that minimize the danger as much as possible and kick start the return of business travel.