While corporate travel has slowed significantly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it will, at some point, pick back up again. When it does, organizations will be making a strong push to get back in front of their customers and prospective clients. With many companies losing revenue during this time, it will be imperative to be out front when it’s okay to travel. According to an Oxford Economics USA study on the ROI of business travel, “…for every dollar invested in business travel, companies realize $12.50 in incremental revenue.” So, while we wait for the “all clear” what can organizations do to ensure their travel programs and travelers are ready to go when that time comes?
Making sure your travelers have access to the lowest travel supplier rates will be crucial for ensuring as much revenue as possible hits the bottom line. So, make sure your travelers utilize your preferred suppliers and contracts, as well as those provided by your travel management company. A directive from management advising travelers of the need to use preferred suppliers and rates is highly recommended. To see if your travelers are heeding this advice, your TMC should be able to provide you with reporting and analytics that shows which suppliers are being utilized, as well as missed savings opportunities.
If there’s one thing we should be learning from this Pandemic as it relates to corporate travel, it’s how important “on-the-grid” travel is. From a traveler safety and security standpoint, allowing them to book reservations outside your travel management company (TMC) leaves them without the support they may need if they find themselves in a precarious situation. Booking “off-the-grid” also opens up your company to potential liability issues if something unfortunate were to befall your traveler and you didn’t have the proper resources in place to respond quickly to their needs. A travel management company can advise best practices for getting as many travelers as possible booking through the approved channel.
Another important area of your travel program that you’ll want to be ready for is managing travel risks. How will your risk department and your travelers know if they’ve booked travel to a risky location? While they are traveling, how will they be notified if there are travel risks that they should be aware of? Does your risk department have a platform that enables them to reach out to multiple travelers at one time to ask if they need assistance? These are all questions you want to be asking now, so that you have solutions in place when travel starts up again.
There are more areas of your travel program that you’ll want to audit, but considering the current times, those listed above highlight how important a travel program is to an organization and why it’s imperative they are routinely audited. Contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited for assistance with optimizing your travel program.