Corporate Traveller, part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, welcomes the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that borders will reopen for international travel from 01 October 2020.
“We are ecstatic that a date has been announced for the reopening of international travel. It allows our customers to plan for the future and make provisions to visit their customers and offices around the world,” says Oz Desai, GM Corporate Traveller.
Desai explains the announcement of an opening date for international travel is the first step in a very long road to recovery. “We can expect capacity constraints in the aviation market as airlines need months of notice before they resume full capacity on routes,” he says.
“What’s more is that there will be a patchwork of rules and regulations to consider at different destinations across the world. As much as we’re opening our borders, the rest of the world might not readily accept South Africans yet. As a global travel company, it is our task to inform and guide our clients as they are getting back to business. As the details around the regulations for travel become clear over the next few days, Corporate Traveller will keep its travellers informed.”
It is essential that travellers have easy access to reliable and up-to-date information on the new, and sure to be fluctuating, travel requirements. For international travel, business travellers will likely need to carry a business travel permit, which we will make available for download for travellers on our website. They need to have the latest information, available at their fingertips, on airline regulations, as well as testing and quarantine measures at their arrival destination.
Over the past months, Corporate Traveller has created resources that will help their customers get back on the road safely and with peace of mind. One important initiative is the launch of the Traveller Information Hub, which contains the latest air, hotel, and border updates from across the globe, an interactive map to help travellers assess their destination’s risk profile and chatbot assistance for any possible questions.
Traveller readiness is an essential element in the strategy for businesses to return to travelling. To better gauge the prevailing sentiments on business travel conditions as countries emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, Corporate Traveller recently launched a global ‘State of the Market’ survey. Using the data from this survey, and following hundreds of conversations with clients and travel partners, the corporate brands have developed a Return to Travel Framework to remove confusion, create direction, and empower customers to take confident action when it comes to resuming business travel.
The Return to Travel Framework guides companies and business travellers and addresses both the traveller’s main concerns about their trip as well as the company’s exposure to risk as business travel resumes. It also provides guidance in terms of the travel policy, vendor management and budget considerations.
Corporate Traveller has launched a series of Duty of Care videos illustrating the travel process for travellers who might be feeling a bit nervous. Travel managers take travellers on a video journey from Johannesburg to Durban to show how safe it is to travel again. The brand has also launched a roadmap, several whitepapers and webinars that address travellers’ and companies’ main concerns and pain points when it comes to business travel in the ‘new normal’.
While borders are reopening, the return to travel will likely be gradual. “It is essential for companies to have a travel expert by their side to work on travel recovery plans and who can help ensure the health and safety of travelling employees. The COVID-19 crisis has emphasised the reasons why corporates rely on a TMC, now more than ever before,” concludes Desai.