The travel industry’s current state punctuated a recent webinar about what the return to travel will look like for businesses. Our own Scott Gousse was joined by AmTrav co-founder and president, Craig Fichtelberg to explore:
COVID-19’s impact on business travel
How travel and lodging has shifted in response to the pandemic
What businesses should consider before restarting their travel programs
With estimated losses of $519b in 2020, the travel economy has a few hurdles to overcome. The same is true for a sweeping majority of corporate travel programs. But, as the webinar made clear, the right planning and system can safely mobilize your teams when travel is required.
Here are a few highlights from the presentation:
Though you’ll spot the occasional plane flying overhead, experts predict travel to recover in phases, beginning with ground transportation. You’re likely to see businesses rely on cars for regional in-person meetings. As confidence improves, domestic air travel and trains are expected to follow. International travel, understandably, will be the last to regain altitude.
A similar progression will be found in how meetings take place. Essential, limited-participant meetings related to sales and operations could be phased in first. Next, you’re likely to see larger internal meetings and trainings increase in volume. Larger gatherings, such as conferences and exhibitions, would be last.
Centralization cuts through the chaos
Travel planning can be a frustrating, costly, and disorganized effort for some. That’s why many organizations turn to travel management companies (TMCs) to coordinate their staffs’ needs. A TMC centralizes all aspects of travel planning into a single hub, including everything from policy adherence to finding the best fares.
Fichtelberg explained how Certify Travel, which can integrate with AmTrav, prioritizes three key aspects of business travel management:
Traveler safety – increasing awareness of which trips are taken, as well as the location/wellbeing of staff in the air and on the ground
Productivity – maximizing effectiveness of travel choices and ensuring traveler happiness
Savings – discovering means to better control travel spend and establish travel supplier relationships that could lead to discounts
When implemented, the right travel platform can cut right through the usual chaos and make travel management easier for everyone, along with other meaningful benefits for the business.
Unused Ticket Tracking
With so much uncertainty in the world of travel, the potential for canceled or missed itineraries is a reality we’ll all face. Logging and managing those unused tickets have been burdens for many organizations. Fichtelberg showcased how AmTrav simplifies the entire process. The system instantly reduces the manual work of crosschecking spreadsheets while providing a deeper reporting view of available tickets. Cost savings were also highlighted as AmTrav automatically identifies all eligible refunds.
Policy enforcement changes
Before, and especially now in the wake of COVID-19, travel spending control has never been more crucial. Your organization’s policy will undoubtedly look different in the coming future. It may also need to reactively change as public health guidelines evolve.
Equally unpredictable, yet similarly critical, are the measures companies take to control flexible fare costs. The right travel partner can assist with both gracefully, ensuring efficient use of everyone’s time, and smarter spending of the company dime.
That’s just a sampling of the content presented. Feel free to check out the webinar recording for the story.