Travel management companies are offering more than just booking services and management information for travel buyers in the Covid-19 travel environment.
To address the concerns of organisations, travel management companies are rolling out new products for travellers and travel managers.
It is in response to feedback from their clients that the majority are looking to revamp their travel policies to reflect increased duty of care considerations post Covid-19.
Here we look at the different services being offered.
American Express Global Business Travel
Amex GBT has unveiled ‘Travel Vitals’ which is describes as a “dynamic travel briefing platform that gives travellers and travel managers a single source for all the information they need before, during and after a business trip.”
To provide that information, data is “aggregated from hundreds of sources, allowing users to search travel guidelines by destination, airline, airport, hotel chain, train operator and ground transportation provider. The know-before-you-go tool shows travel restrictions for specific locations, while also identifying Covid-19 infection rate spikes and hot spots”.
Unusually for software and information such as this, the Travel Vitals assistant is free to use, though for Amex GBT travel clients and travellers, Travel Vital “…powers itinerary-specific information in digital channels, including the Amex GBT mobile app, chat and online booking tools.”
For travel managers, Travel Vitals is integrated into the trip audit process and can trigger alerts when journeys are booked to high-risk destinations. Reporting capabilities monitor future bookings, helping drive policy compliance when hotel stays or ground options are not booked alongside air travel. Conversely, reports track historical bookings, critical if an individual’s movements need to be retrospectively traced because of an infection rate spike in a specific location.
CWT has added two new features to its platform, one of which is available only to CWT clients, and one of which is available to the public.
The first is for travel manager clients of CWT and is a ‘Return to Travel dashboard’ which amalgamates global destination information to help managers assess risks and restrictions ahead of, during and after business trips.
The second is a ‘CWT Travel Essentials search’ and is available on a publicly accessible page on the company’s website (mycwt.com) and via the myCWT mobile and web channels. This provides information on applicable restrictions, procedures and travel requirements based on specific travel itinerary details such as trip origin, destination, travel dates and traveller nationality.
CWT says that its return to travel information services are consolidated from multiple third-party sources including government and health advisory sites, travel providers and universities, to help keep companies and their traveling employees connected to timely and relevant information. The information is aggregated using API connections, enabled by CWT’s innovative partnership strategy with key data and travel technology providers.
FCM and Corporate Traveller
FCM and Corporate Traveller and has launched a Traveller Hub, described as “an interactive resource providing extensive up-to-date Covid-19 travel information”.
Users can search by supplier category, country or region for the latest news on border changes and restrictions; airline routes and safety procedures for travellers; hotel re-openings and hygiene measures; as well as rail travel and car hire announcements.”
Included in the Traveller Hub are tips, frequently asked questions and useful links to help customers plan and pack for their next trip safely. The Traveller Hub also features a live interactive map, delivered by travel safety specialist Sitata, which shows areas to avoid, number of Covid-19 cases per country, recovery rates, and local social distancing rules.
In addition, Traveller Hub incorporates an AI conversation-based messaging tool on the home page provided by cutting-edge technology developer Landbot. This chatbot is embedded in the site and enables users to seek answers to any coronavirus-related travel questions in a live chat environment.
The Traveller Hub is fully integrated within FCM Hub, the gateway to the TMC’s suite of technology solutions, as well as Corporate Traveller’s technology platform. It can also be accessed via Sam, the AI-based mobile app used by both FCM and Corporate Traveller clients’ business travellers.