As the various governments throughout the UK begin to outline their plans to move out of lockdown, and back towards life as it was before COVID, Clyde Travel Management’s Head of Sales and Customer Relations, Melanie Quinn asks: “Is your Travel Management Company ready for your return to travel?”
“Both British Airways and easyJet have reported a rise in bookings in the last week, with many believing it is tied to increased confidence in travel due to the UK government setting a roadmap to recovery post-COVID.
“This is prompting many people to ask: ‘Is now a good time to prepare a return to business travel?’
“There is much to consider in these preparations, both internally and externally so here’s a quick guide to get you started.
“First and foremost: ‘How do your people feel about traveling once more on business?’
“If you are responsible for your travel programme it’s perhaps a good idea to conduct a survey to see how comfortable your people are with the prospect of travelling, what they need from your organisation and how they expect to be supported.
“This will help you shape policy and inspire confidence from your employees, enabling them to travel once more. There will be varying levels of confidence, so it’s a good idea to partner with your HR department, to make sure they can provide further resource or support to those that need it.
“And how do you provide that confidence? Talk to your TMC.
“All but essential travel has been on hold for a year. You need to understand how your TMC has been impacted, what level of readiness they have and any new processes or technology they have implemented to support customers returning to travelling on business.
“If you were using an online booking tool in 2019, will you still expect the same levels of adoption? If not, you need to let your TMC know, so that they are sufficiently resourced.
“What level of support will they offer you to manage border restrictions, PCR test requirements and quarantine?
“Do they operate 24/7/365 or are calls outside of office hours outsourced?
“How do they manage duty of care, have there been changes in light of the pandemic?
“What is their refund process and policy?
“And finally, ask for help in building your new policy.
“There’s much to consider and TMC’s can guide you to a robust policy that will help you navigate the increased complexities of travelling on business, it’s what we do.”