Return to Travel Framework
With vaccine distribution on the rise, many companies have — or are in the process of — returning to travel for business.
The forecasted U.S. economic boom, an increased willingness to travel, a decrease in trips canceled and greater business optimism are all helping to drive the recovery. In fact, according to a recent GBTA survey, 72% of companies have either already resumed non-essential business travel, have a travel-resumption plan in place or are working on one.
FCM is here to keep you informed, educated and prepared for the new world of business travel. Focusing on 4 key areas below, our aim is to provide a clear direction for your travel program, eliminating any guesswork and empowering you to take your next steps confidently.
Taking the time to review and refine your travel policy in line with the current environment will strengthen a confident return to travel. This is also the time to leverage the opportunity to address legacy leakage and compliance issues.
Check out some of our key considerations on approaching your travel policy this year, and take a look at our additional resources below for further insights.
- Redefine permissible travel and ROI with targeted approval workflows.
- Close the gap on leakage. Enhance traveler usage of preferred suppliers.
- Consider mandatory booking channels and apps.
- Draft a COVID addendum for travel policy. Add regional versions where needed.
- Launch interim travel policy and expanded communication plan.
Safety and Well-being
Did you know that 88% of business travelers will look to their employer for reassurance in deeming it safe to travel again?
Now is the time to start formulating a concrete approach to business travel in the year ahead. With safety and duty of care continuing to stay top of mind for companies and TMCs alike, implementing a strategy to ensure you are minimizing the risk to your traveling employees is essential. It’s also important to provide your travelers with access to the information and tools they need to feel confident returning to travel.
- Assess traveler readiness and sentiment.
- Equip travelers with information and resources to support their trip.
- Implement traveler tracking, notification, and communication tools.
- Ensure alerts and situational monitoring are in place.
- Review/create documented travel risk management strategy.
In an environment where business travel conditions have changed dramatically, the need to review, reconfigure and renegotiate with your key suppliers is on the rise. With many operators dramatically impacted, you may also need to source new partners for your re-emerging program.
- Generate supplier viability report and operational status update.
- Review supplier audit and certification of hygiene protocols.
- Define unused ticket/credits-on-hold management strategy.
- Perform Rate audits and renegotiation where applicable.
- Evaluate benefits of new contract negotiation and sourcing.
We’ve put together some key considerations on approaching vendor management, plus some additional insights below.
While safety and well-being ranked as the number one consideration in our global research, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business in general means that cost management will also be an integral strategy in what will, in many cases, be a tentative return to travel.
Keep these key considerations in mind when evaluating your budget in the year ahead, and take a look at some of our supporting resources below that could be useful when trying to identify opportunities for costs savings.
- Establish proactive demand management and travel ROI assessments.
- Evaluate policy changes including cabin choices, advance purchase, day trips, rate caps, and more.
- Drive smart OBT adoption which incorporates COVID advice.
- Use historical benchmarks and future forecasts to establish new budgets.
- Revisit supplier category plans to shift costs and optimize savings.