The last time you went on a business trip, all you probably needed to do was book your air ticket and accommodation, pack your bags and head for the airport to catch the flight. It was straightforward. Since Covid started, business travel has got a lot more complicated. From new travel policies to stricter approval requirements, constantly changing quarantine restrictions and immigration policies, it doesn’t seem to get easier by the day. Add to this the health tests that are needed and one would be inclined to throw in the towel and call it a day for business travel.
These perspectives seem to be changing rapidly when news of successful Covid-19 vaccines broke. And if your TMC has been getting you ready for the resumption of business travel since day one of the outbreak, you might just get back to travel sooner than you think.
No stranger to the power of partnerships and technology, in the past year FCM has found increasingly creative ways to harness travel tech, simplifying and innovating safer processes for business travel within the pandemic environment. As an extension of FCM’s continued commitment in the Duty of Care space in 2021 in readying travellers to get back on the runway, we have kicked off the year with two strategic partnerships with the goal to provide end-to-end integrated service capabilities to customers.
It’s a Steal! Affordable pre-travel health tests you have been waiting for
First up is a partnership with leading healthcare provider in Asia, Fullerton Health.
Customers in Singapore and Hong Kong now have access to substantially discounted rates for PCR/Serology tests and Nasal Swab/Deep Throat Saliva tests respectively, currently one of the lowest in the market for business travellers.
Through this unified booking strategy, travellers can use FCM as a one-stop shop for all their travel bookings including pre-travel health tests, simplifying the travel process for customers.
“Fullerton Health seeks to play its part at supporting the reopening of economy and at the same time facilitating safe travel in our region and beyond. As borders open, we hope to provide trusted access to COVID-19 testing in the nine Asia-Pacific markets where Fullerton has a presence. We are privileged to have a leading travel management partner in FCM who is adopting a holistic approach to support business travellers’ needs in this new travel environment.”
- Dr Walter Lim, Deputy Managing Director (Singapore), Fullerton Health
Are digital passports the new digital currency of travel?
Another evolution that is likely to pave the way for future travel is the development of digital health passports. Tourism organisations and airlines around the world have started trialling this innovation, and on the business travel front, FCM is at the forefront of this initiative for the business travel community.
FCM is the first TMC in market to kickstart a Digital Health Credential programme aimed at demonstrating technologies to help business travellers get back on the road in a safe and seamless manner. This drive for a more safe, resilient and sustainable travel future is what ignited this conversation from the early stages with like-minded partner Affinidi, a Temasek-backed technology company who specialises in digital identities and credentials.
Developed in partnership with Affinidi and currently in advanced stages of development, the FCM Health Wallet app enables test certificates and vaccination results to be displayed. The goal is to provide a comprehensive platform to establish greater assurances in ensuring authentic COVID test results. This would also enable faster and automated verification processes to allow for quicker processing of passengers, and potentially lead to express lanes at airport customs. This means that travellers will have a smoother, faster and fuss-free immigration clearance when entering Singapore.
The FCM Health Wallet is also designed to function as a consolidated traveller profile system which allows FCM customers to be registered on for issuance of digital health certificates. Additionally, travellers will also have access to a list of accredited healthcare institutions that are able to issue digital health certificates. With specific Covid vaccines recently approved by various countries, travellers who choose to be vaccinated will also be able to include their vaccine status in the portal.
Uniting with the best of businesses in their respective fields, FCM continues to drive customer value with holistic service offerings, innovations and enhance customer-facing tools as a springboard to restart business travel.
“It is extremely important to partner with key private and public institutions to form an ecosystem that works together to operationalise cross-border travel. The reality is that many challenges lie ahead of us and the solution may not be straightforward. However, the process is an essential part of this transition into developing a safe and responsible cross-border travel system that works and FCM is proud to be at the forefront of this initiative.”
- Bertrand Saillet, Managing Director for FCM Travel Solutions in Asia