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May 18, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: May 18

Samantha Shankman
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News
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The world has shifted in more ways than we ever expected, and we’re bullish on the role of business travel to help professionals and executives navigate this new world. As working from home becomes a regular part of our professional lives, the need to connect in person will be even more highly valued and sought after. Therefore, it is our intention to make that as easy and seamless a process as possible so that business travel becomes the best part of the job, the opportunity to jam on ideas in person and make the deals that count.

We spent this week by paving the way for travel managers who will be charged with overseeing this transition. Starting this week, TripActions users will not only be able to see which canceled/unused tickets have waiver credit -- as they have for a while now -- they will be also automatically applying those credits for any point of sale. We’ll dive deeper into the details of how this is done and why it matters on tomorrow’s episode of Open for Business.

This is especially important as new international borders open each day, and airlines release new practices to keep flyers safe in the skies. We cover all the latest information below.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the evolving situation, please look to the WHO Situation Reports and CDC. You can also find the latest on the TripActions Community and within the coronavirus report in the TripActions Admin Dashboard.

You can check out past weekly news roundups here. Now, here’s the top news of the week:

Europe to Reopen for Summer Tourism in Wake of Coronavirus [CNN]

The world's most popular destination for business and leisure tourism is eager to lift restrictions and encourage travel before summer. Last week, the EU unveiled an action plan to get its internal borders reopening, safely fire up its hospitality sector and to revive rail, road, air and sea connections that have been strangled during the pandemic. Italy announced it would be the first destination to open international borders - without a mandated quarantine - on June 3, which suggests that other countries will quickly follow.

How Airline & Hotel Loyalty Programs are Changing Due to COVID-19 [Choice]

This is a common question among frequent business travelers and one that travel managers need to be ready to solve for in addition to unused tickets and waivers. Luckily, hospitality companies and airlines are eager to help their most valued customers right now. This is a good overview of where the industry is aligned around loyalty today.

Contact Tracing, Temperature Checks and Masks: Airline Industry Outlines New Norms [Reuters]

A plan laid out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International to reassure governments that it is safe for the public to fly includes contact tracing, temperature screening, social distancing, extra cleaning and wearing masks. Serious steps like these are what is needed to ensure that we can return to business travel quickly and safely.

How the CEOs of 2 Big Travel Agencies See a Massive Upside to Companies Switching to Virtual [Skift]

If we are currently on the cusp of a whole new work from home world, corporate travel is positioned to play a more important role in the lives of professionals than ever before. A dispersed workforce still understands the value of in-person connections and, therefore, will regularly plan meetings in which employees gather at a single place — and will require travel.

For more news and actionable insights from the business travel community, subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions on your favorite podcast platform.

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