Six ways a Travel Management Company can help you travel smarter in a COVID-19 world

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Six ways a Travel Management Company can help you travel smarter in a COVID-19 world

It’s often said that you only realise the true value of a travel expert when things go wrong. When flights are cancelled or meetings run late, you wish you had a professional on board to jump in and make the changes.

Fast forward to business travel in 2020, and our COVID-19 world offers up a near perfect example of disruption and uncertainty.For companies, large and small, business travel is going to prove challenging and this is where Travel Management Companies(TMCs) rise to the occasion.

As South Africa opens domestic business travel, here is how a TMC like Flight Centre Business Travel save you time, money – and a whole lot of stress:

1. They help you navigate a dynamic environment

There is a lot going on. And while we know that South Africa’s level three regulations allowed for business travel from 01 June 2020, many airlines are still not running, only four airports are in play (OR Tambo, Lanseria, Cape Town International and King Shaka), and ground transport (hire cars and shuttles, for example) still looks very different.

“A TMC will be able to help you navigate this new, and ever-changing, environment, helping you to make the necessary flight, accommodation and transport bookings (or cancellations) quickly and easily,” says Oz Desai, GM Flight Centre Business Travel.

2. They prepare you for the travel experience

The travel experience has also changed. A TMC is great source of information and advice – and can guide you in terms of your travel preparations, including exactly who can travel, the documentation that is required, airline regulations, and the various safety guidelines and requirements put in place by airlines, hotels and other accommodation establishments.

3. They jump in to solve your problems – 24/7

Desai explains a TMC is the perfect partner for when things go wrong: “Booking your own travels is all good until something goes wrong. The past few weeks have shown us exactly just how much can go wrong. A TMC is your safety net, able to rebook, renegotiate and reorganise travel on your behalf.”

4. They help you make savings and consolidate your payments

A TMC will analyse your business travel spend and identify areas where you can save money, explains Desai. TMCs will negotiate preferred rates with airlines, hotels and car rental companies as well as analyse your employees’ travel buying behaviour, identifying where changes can be made.

What’s more is that a TMC can offer your company a variety of flexible payment options, including an interest-free credit account, travel lodge cards and billbacks. This will give your company a good overview of their travel spend.

5. They operate with a commitment to duty of care

Never before has duty of care been as important and relevant as in our current climate. Meeting these obligations starts with having a solid plan in place to address travel risks and ensure your bases are covered: from the accommodation you have chosen, to the transport options and any other risks your travellers might face. A TMC will support travellers on every step of their journey.

6. They save you valuable time

Do you really want your executive team to waste valuable time browsing the Internet for the perfect travel deal? “Pre-pandemic, it is estimated that business travellers spent on average 20 minutes reading hotel reviews before booking. In a COVID world, we expect that the time spent on researching travel will be much higher as travellers try to get to grips with new regulations and requirements,” says Desai. “A TMC will give you all the information at your fingertips so you don’t need to waste time searching the Internet trying to make sense of the new regulations.”

“Travelling in a COVID-19 world can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With a travel expert at your side, you can navigate the new travel landscape like a pro,” concludes Desai.

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