Approximately 2.5 million Indians travel to and from Indian geographical boundaries every single day for all possible reasons and almost 70% of those travelers travel for corporate reasons. But these are the statistics before the International boundaries were sealed for travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a pretty much necessary decision taken to prevent the spread and we’ve been pretty much successful in doing so. One thing that we cannot overlook for sure are the extra measures that leisure as well as corporate travelers need to take in the future to be able to stay away from infections but to carry on with the desired work even in these situations to try and better the situation considering the economic setbacks faced by every big or small venture.
We all need to agree that the world of travel can never be the same again after the end of pandemic but what we also need to understand is that work has to resume even if it’s on a smaller scale no matter what the conditions in order to bring back on track the derailed economic conditions of the company.
Safety Majors Taken for Business Travelers Post Coronavirus
- Since corporate travel is predominant in any given part of the world to expand the business and trade, all Travel Management Companies need to lay down ground rules which are beneficial considering the safety of all of their respected travelers to provide a safer travel environment and a seamless experience. Corporate Travel Management Companies need to step up in their game to decide upon the measures they can take to provide a safer virus-free environment to all of their valued customers looking forward to resuming their business travels.
- Airports and lounges, Flights, Railway Platforms, Trains, Hotels and many such hubs which primitively serve as first dots for any business related could be the major areas that could possibly be the reason for spread of the virus and these majorly need strict rules and regulations in a world post Covid-19 to ensure safe and sound services to get back on track.
- Considering airports and railway platforms, the world will see a massive change with Thermal Temperature Scanners being installed at the entry and exits of all airports and railway stations to scan primitively all the incoming and outgoing passengers for possible symptoms as listed by the World Health Organization to check for people having basic symptoms. Another addition to this would be installation of motion sensor hand sanitizer dispensers for disinfection of hands touching surfaces like washrooms and luggage trolleys etc. Another major change that the travel related industry will witness is the focus on going completely contactless and touchless to get rid of any possible human contact when it comes to check-in and immigration at the counters. Providing stable applications and servers for people availing service for checking in and filling in their essential credentials well in advanced. This will reduce almost more than 50% human interaction with passport and document handlings by the authorities and also curb crowd gatherings at the airport.
- Analyzing the current situations and considering the aftermath, the entire travel industry will see a major focus on going entirely contactless and touchless by shifting all the manual paper work and documentation to a digitally based portal which will also curb manual human errors. This includes processes right from scratch i.e. providing documents for paperwork and details of travel to payments for tickets and fares.
Steps a Travel Management Company Can Follow
- Every Travel Management Company will have to lay down and abide by the rules that are essential for a safer work environment. They need to provide efficient alternate options to their customers. For e.g. If a group of employees plan for a work related travel shortly, they would be happy if they do not have to physically travel all the way to submit original documents and ID’s for paperwork, instead just send the essential documents online in a secure manner and the service providers can fill up the details. Next, payments can be done online through safe and secure gateways to get rid of physical currency. Keeping complete transparency in flight and hotel bookings by suggesting feasible options for the customers to choose from according to convenience and benefits.
- Once the initial process is done, and then comes the main part. Providing 24*7 assistance over the phone or emails or any preferred and available medium of communication if needed at any given point of time so that the issues or requests from customers are heard and worked upon.
- During the trip, the employees should have the feature to capture photos of receipts and essential documents and store them securely online so that physical receipts are not carried by employees to reduce human contact. Online storage of receipts can come in handy in the latter part while applying for reimbursements and claims. This feature can reduce burden upon the shoulders of the employees and the employers as well, as every transaction is recorded and stored online.
- Travel Management Companies should provide the employees on a business trip with a safety kit including Face masks and shields, Gloves, Hand Sanitizers and Disinfectant wipes with basic instructions on the use of each of them.
Following above steps can ensure a safe and healthy travel environment for all travelers.
Travel & Tourism is resilient and will emerge back as it has done in the past. Considering that Covid-19 is leaving travelers with many challenges to deal with. They are deeply psychological and predominantly driven by fear of the uncertainty. One of the key fallout of Covid-19 will be enhanced focus on hygiene and sanitation across the hospitality and travel industry. Hotels that will be able to market the facilities that they have put in place as part of new standards like a walk-in disinfectant at the entrance of the hotel lobby etc. Another felt need that has emerged is the demand for hotels to provide isolation, quarantine and venues for healthcare workers to stay and for guests who will require the necessary two weeks quarantine. The hospitals are already stretched to provide these. And hence welcoming a new and safer world to bring back travel!