Business travel was once vital to the world's economy - in reality, it still is despite the pandemic! By some estimates, business travel accounts for up to 75% of an airline's profits. But it can be difficult to navigate travel management in the 2021 world.
That's where we come in. In the post-pandemic world, it's a great idea to leave the logistics to experts. You're already focused on keeping your business running smoothly, so let us explain the most effective and safe way to travel for your business this year.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about business travel in the year 2021!
Is Business Travel A Possibility in 2021?
The short answer is yes! With vaccine rates around the world going up, borders are beginning to open up.
The long answer, of course, is that it depends on the country. Some countries do not appear to be altering their stance on restricting travel to all but the most vital of scenarios. In the event that vaccinations are high and cases low, more agreements between countries and travel corridors will hopefully be opening.
Additionally, while some countries might be open for business travel, there can be a lot of difficultly navigating the rules and costs in corporate travel management. For instance, many countries in Asia, such as South Kore,a are allowing people to come into the country, but only after a 2-week high-cost quarantine (even if you're vaccinated).
So while business travel is definitely a possibility, this year is the one to focus on systemizing that travel. Allowing a business travel agency to take care of things such as strategic planning, booking consolidation, and service optimization can free your business up to focus on the actual business.
Check out our top five reasons to systemize your business travel.
4 Steps to Start Business Travel in 2021
Now that you know some of the complications, it's time to look at what you should implement in your business this year to keep things running smoothly.
1. Craft a Comprehensive Business Travel Policy
Everything in the past year and a half has been unprecedented. As such, it's important to keep further confusion and worry out of your business by being upfront with your employees.
There will likely be some reluctance to travel among some of your workers and generalized worry. By being upfront and implementing a policy designed to set your workers at ease (as well as advance the goals of your business), you can expect happier employees and an easier transition back to normalcy.
Consider every aspect of how travel impacts your business and what steps can be taken to protect your business and workers. Establish a set of rules by which travellers should operate under, and decide what situations would allow an employee to decline travel. Having things laid out clearly means there won't be confusion and there's less likely to be complaints.
2. Choose a Travel Management Company
As we discussed earlier, things this year are going to be complicated. Rather than getting bogged down in the details, choose a technology-led travel management company to sift through all the information for you.
Whether you had a travel management company before the pandemic or you're looking to hire one now, this is the perfect time. You're now able to choose from companies that handled travel well in the pandemic and which didn't. In a way, this presents an opportunity to figure out who will be on the ball when it comes to your business travel needs.
3. Implement a Corporate Payment System
With the pandemic came many new systems that worked to circumvent the need for human contact. It's clear that one of those new systems - contactless payments - is here to stay.
To stay positive, think of this as another opportunity that the pandemic can provide. There is now a space to easily innovate and implement systems that will be more future-proof for your company. But what does this have to do with business travel?
Well, many travel companies that your business is likely to work with, from hotels to car rentals and airlines, have begun to modernize too. Virtual cards are clearly becoming the name of the game and can be better for cash flow and short settlement cycles.
4. Work With Travel Management Companies
While travel companies that we just mentioned (airlines, car rentals, hotels) are eager to get back on their feet, there will be an adjustment period. Reports of a summer full of delays and cancellations show that many businesses will be experiencing growing pains into autumn.
Because business travellers are high-value customers for airlines and other businesses, it's important to use that to find the best offerings. Rather than offering you flights with long layovers, you might be able to work out ways to fly on smaller aircraft or lower service levels but have a direct flight.
The same goes for car rentals, many of which sold a lot of their available cars to stay afloat during the pandemic. Hotels may have reduced staff and offerings. Being aware of these situations and working out ways to mitigate problems is in your company's best interest.
What Else Should I Know?
When it comes to choosing a business travel agency, Locomote is business travel without the hassle. A technology-led travel agency, Locomote knows how to streamline everything to do with booking and managing on one easy-to-use platform.
Locomote is supported by 5-star travel agents with thousands of users finding success. Check out our risk-free free trial today!