South Africa transitioned to lockdown level one in September 2020, sparking a revival of the corporate travel industry. In an effort to gain a better understanding of how most business travellers are experiencing travel under level one, FCM Travel Solutions asked their most loyal clients to share some of their thoughts and recommendations.
Is it safe to travel?
The overwhelming answer given by FCM’s travellers to the question on everyone’s lips – is it safe to travel – was ‘YES’. Based on their most recent trip, 93% of clients believe it is safe to travel and that the travel industry (air travel, car and/or accommodation) is aligned with COVID-19 health regulations. Further to that, 83% said that they were either confident or extremely confident to continue travelling as per normal now that many travel-related restrictions have been eased.
If prospective travellers are feeling hesitant to take a trip for either business or leisure purposes, it is worthwhile asking your Travel Management Company (TMC) to provide detailed information with regards to the precautions the various airlines, car hire companies, hotels, and guesthouses have in place to help curb the spread of the virus. Knowing exactly what to expect – and that travel suppliers are indeed making safety a top priority – can provide a significant boost in peace of mind during such uncertain times.
Is it worthwhile working with a TMC?
With many businesses looking to cut costs, there is a good chance that decision-makers are revisiting the need for a TMC. The reality is that travel experts are more important now than ever before and taking a lead role in helping corporate travellers navigate their way through the many changes and challenges that COVID has brought about. Due to connections with an assortment of travel suppliers, TMCs know very well which ones are going the extra mile to maximise traveller safety, as well as how to negotiate more attractive rates when travel budgets are tight.
When asked how well they felt their consultant supported their travel requests and provided them with relevant information to ensure a seamless travel experience, 86% of FCM’s clients said that the service received was ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Above Average’.
Tips from the travellers
A number of FCM travellers shared advice for prospective business and leisure travellers from South Africa and abroad. Most urged anyone and everyone venturing away from home to adhere to all of the necessary COVID safety regulations and to take responsibility for their own safety. Wear your mask, carry your own hand sanitiser everywhere you go, and practise strict social distancing.
Time management was another important focus with clients suggesting to plan one’s trip well ahead of time to be prepared for anything. It’s also important that travellers arrive at the airport with time to spare as there is a health form to fill in and a COVID screening on arrival. Although this is quick, there may be a queue due to social distancing requirements.
Despite concerns about safety and travel delays putting somewhat of a damper on the experience, it is evident that business travellers are feeling positive about getting moving once again. With strategic planning, the guidance of a travel consultant or TMC, and a strong knowledge of the necessary COVID safety protocols to follow, there is no reason why travellers shouldn’t feel confident taking to the skies for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.