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Nov 2, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: November 2

Samantha Shankman

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Collaboration and cooperation are the only paths out of crisis. We’ve seen it throughout our communities in the past eight months as travel, finance, HR, operations and risk leaders came together to plot strategies to ensure traveler health and safety while controlling costs through the pandemic and for the safe and cost effective return of business travel. It’s an approach that we take seriously at TripActions, which is why we’ve worked directly with our customers to launch new products, features and functionality — sometimes in hours and over weekends - to meet the changing needs of the current environment. And it’s one by which we continue to live.

Just last week, we outlined our partnership with Ctrip which provides a seamless local travel experience for customers in China and Hong Kong. Our focus on collaboration goes beyond the office. We’ve also spent the past few months working with local organizations to provide laptops and mentorship to communities harder hit than our own. We’re not only rebuilding the corporate travel experience; our goal is to ensure that our industry, customers, partners, suppliers, and local communities have the tools they need to persist through the challenges and emerge stronger than before.

As you chart a path to return to business travel, we encourage you to continue to reference our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and our COVID-19 Report in the TripActions Travel Manager Dashboard. These will help you assess the safety of travel, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide your policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insight from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.

Now, let’s dive into what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.

Airplane COVID-19 Risk ‘Very Low’ with Masks, Other Actions, Report Finds [Reuters]

Transmission risks of COVID-19 during flights are relatively low and below that of other routine activities during the pandemic such as grocery shopping or going out to dinner, when using face coverings and taking other steps, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health said Tuesday.

When Business Travel Returns, It Will Be ‘In Full Force’ [Business Traveler]

When business travel resumes, it will do so “in full force,” according to a report from CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm. The study, entitled The Future for the Lodging Industry: When Will Convention and Group Demand Come Back?, found that travel which fulfills the desire for face-to-face communication and enables other social factors to interact with people “will drive a strong recovery for business travel during the post-COVID-19 period.”

How the Coronavirus Gave QR Codes a Major Role in Travel [PhocusWire]

The challenges of COVID-19 have accelerated adoption of technologies. The QR code has become instrumental in engaging customers and keeping them safe while going through airports, hotels, stores, and restaurants. QR codes help to streamline necessary steps in the traveler journey from checking in and checking bags to going through security or making a purchase. They help reduce friction, enable touchless capabilities, and speed up the customer journey — all of which are critical to ensuring travel comes back stronger than before.

Amazon Saved $1 Billion Since Corporate Travel Shut Down [Skift]

The shocking number highlights the scale and importance of business travel for global corporations. While the temporary pause on non-essential travel might have reduced costs in the short term, it is harder to measure the loss of business, relationships, and employee productivity and satisfaction that once came from business travel. It also highlights the strength of the corporate travel industry, once an invisible part of business and travel, and why ensuring its return is so important.

Delta CEO: The Return of Middle Seats and Business Travel is Inevitable [Fortune]

While temporary measures have been necessary during the pandemic, Delta CEO Ed Bastian clearly highlights why business travel and even standard seating will return. It’s worth watching his recent video interview with Fortune here.

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 and join the TripActions Community.

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