Below is a post written by Zeevi Michel, CEO of TravelSuit, first posted on LinkedIn Pulse.
I’ve been thinking about how I would describe the past few months, and the one description I always fall back on is world-changing.
If you would have told me, in February, that borders would be shut down, and countries, cities, and neighbourhoods would be quarantined, not to mention the physical harm this virus is taking on the world, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
As in many situations, people are often slow to come to terms with what is happening. Looking back at many of the predictions that were made in March by thought leaders and reputable businesses has been humbling, as we can say in hindsight that they were premature and maybe even a bit naive (one of them noting that travel could be back to normal as early as April).
But now, five months into the pandemic, I believe that we have a better understanding of this new world we live in, the effects that are materialising, and what we can expect in the near future.
Only recently, with the easing of quarantines and lockdowns in some parts of the world, have we started to experience a slight uptick in travel. Travel is still nowhere near where it used to be, and probably won't be near the pre-COVID heights for at least another few months. Although the future is unknown, as changes are being made daily due to possible “second waves”, it seems both governments and individuals are eager to avoid full-on lockdowns.
Having said that, I am cautiously optimistic that the current trend we are seeing is in fact the beginning of the “restart” we were all waiting for and will grow slowly until taking off in the spring of 2021.
Whether you’re a company that has already partially resumed your business travel or your company still doesn’t feel the time is right, it’s important to understand the new reality of travel (at least in the foreseeable future) and what you need to adjust in order to make sure your travelers (current or future) are being taken care of.
The risks associated with different countries are constantly changing due to fluctuating coronavirus outbreaks which will also bring about changing regulations. This is not only directly linked to an employee potentially catching coronavirus, but lockdowns, quarantines, and other regulations that could impact your traveler’s journey. That’s why it is important that you and your travelers have the latest information regarding your destination and connections. Moreover, you’re going to want to have a full picture of where your employees are at all times, and easily understand the situation in those countries. For example: Your traveler is in a province of Spain that recently experienced an outbreak. You want to know ASAP about the latest developments so that your company can make an informed decision on how best to look out for your employee.
However you go about it, it’s becoming evident that travelers and travel managers need real-time data on developing situations. At TravelSuit, for instance, we’ve integrated live safety information from the world’s leading travel & health institutions into our platform so that you can receive real-time updates regarding the health and safety situation at your destination and connecting countries.
It is important to adjust your travel policy to help automate which trips and destinations will be approved within your company. This, for instance, can ensure that any bookings made within your company are compliant with the latest safety information and avoid manually having to check chosen destinations.
We have done the work for you. Our data scientists have worked day and night to create a special COVID-19 route builder. Similar to our Recommended option, TravelSafe now prioritizes routes that are the most safe from a health perspective.