With lockdown restrictions easing, many businesses have started to reopen offices, resume normal working hours and think about business travel once again. But whether your team needs a hotel room, train journey or a flight, how can you make sure you’re booking the safest journey for them? And how can your employees book with confidence when safety advice is constantly changing?
To answer these questions, we’ve put together our top six tips to help book business travel in 2020:
1# Minimise leakage
One of the simplest, and arguably most important, ways to have confidence in your booking process is to make sure that you have no leakage. Leakage is where travellers are booking outside of your TMC, perhaps on hotel websites or with airlines directly. If your team is doing this, you will have no control over these bookings. They may be travelling to unsafe locations and you will have no approvals system, traveller tracking or oversight. Make sure you’re using a TMC booking platform that’s user friendly to make sure that staff aren’t tempted to look for business travel elsewhere.
2# Set travel restrictions
If your company regularly travels overseas to other offices or to meetings, it might be wise to set restrictions on international travel. For example, you could have certain locations, such as those countries where a recent outbreak has occurred, blocked, so that travellers cannot book trips to them. With an agile travel platform, you can regularly tweak your travel restrictions, allowing you to ensure the safety of your team is paramount and in line with changing advice.
3# Build controls into your travel policy
A less extreme measure to help safeguard bookings is to add in a new automated pre-trip approval process. In the past, you may only have used approvals when employees were trying to book particularly expensive travel, but you could now use approvals for all kinds of travel, or even to safeguard a particular type of travel such as flights. This means that your travellers’ journeys have to be checked before they can be processed, allowing you to make sure you’re happy for your employees to travel on the journeys they have requested before the booking is confirmed.
4# Only book covid-secure hotels
Ultimately, most travellers will want to ensure that they can book a hotel that meets the highest safety standards. That’s why the team at Click Travel have introduced our brand new hotel filter, so that bookers can easily see which hotels are complying with the new standards of Covid-19 cleaning. As well as this, travellers can instantly report information about their experience in real time, meaning that if a hotel isn’t complying with the new rules they can instantly be removed from the approved list of secure accommodation.
5# Issue internal advice on your booking platform
With travel advice and restrictions constantly changing, your bookers may benefit from targeted in platform messaging. This means that when they go to book a hotel for example, they’ll receive a pop up message of your choice, with your company’s branding, to help issue any advice or information you think they’ll need to know. For example, if one of your offices is located in an area that has gone into local lockdown, you could warn travellers not to book a visit to these offices for the foreseeable future.
6# Ensure access to pre-travel advice
Finally, make sure that your team always has access to the pre-travel advice that they need. With Click Travel, your bookers will have access to the very latest FCO guidelines and can check to make sure that where they are travelling to is safe, with the latest country-by-country travel advice, restrictions or requirements.
So there you have it! We hope these six tips to book business travel with confidence in 2020 were helpful. All of the measures mentioned above are available through our award winning business travel booking platform on any device, and you can find out more about how we can help keep your team safe here.