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July 16, 2020

Travel Managers Getting Ready to Restart Travel

Now, as travel bookings and actual trips flown are beginning to rebound on the TripActions platform, many travel managers are preparing for the safe and cost-effective return of business travel within their organizations. GBTA released its July survey results, and a number of interesting data points are worth a closer look.

65% of respondents say business travel has resumed more slowly than expected when the crisis first hit in March. That’s understandable. At the start of the pandemic, corporate travel managers and leaders were more focused on immediate issues: the safety of employees, ensuring at duty of care, managing cancellations, and tracking unused tickets and waivers. We have learned more about how to handle a crisis such as this one, and travel managers are making careful, strategic plans that keep their employees’ safety and security top of mind.

44% expect domestic travel to return in 2-3 months, and 40% expect international travel to return in 6-8 months. The time is now to revise your travel program. While travelers are temporarily grounded, it’s possible to revise policies, processes, introduce new travel and expense management systems, and offer training so that when your organization deems you’re ready, a stronger foundation is in place to power your organization’s safe and cost-effective return to business and travel to drive economic recovery.

56% of companies have already changed their travel policies as a result of the pandemic. We expect that those who haven’t will likely consider doing so in the near future. This is great news: business travel will resume when people feel safe, and having policies that support travelers in this transitional time will go a long way to inspire confidence.

What is your organization doing to update your travel policy? A few things to consider:

  • Implementing approval processes and rules on permissible travel are a solid start.
  • Seamless global employee tracking has become a mission-critical must-have--and that only works when your T&E platform is broadly adopted across employees. Adoption comes from ease of use and a great user experience--complete with broad inventory, ease of bookings and changes, and expert 24/7 travel agents to support your employees while traveling.
  • A wellness program will help travelers manage both their physical and mental well-being so that they are safe and productive on the road.

For those looking to revise their travel policy today, consider using the Travel Policy Worksheet.

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