The landscape for international travel has completely changed over the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As borders around the world are opening up once again, the right safety measures are important to achieve full economic recovery and the return to travel.
TruTrip recently partnered with Collinson to provide seamless access to Covid-19 test bookings online when travelling from Singapore and other APAC markets. Since the risk of Covid-19 spreading through travel is still present and many countries continue to be cautious, the travel industry needs to be proactive in managing the return to travel. As a global leader in traveller experiences and medical assistance, Collinson is perfectly placed to offer travel insights to support the safe return of travel in 2022. Here are 5 key steps to pave the way for travel to make its full comeback:
1. Implementing effective travel risk management for travelling employees
The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the travel landscape for the foreseeable future – creating a heightened risk agenda for corporate travel. Yet, the changes brought about by the pandemic have meant that many of the travel risk management solutions which were once used in the past may no longer be appropriate. For instance, destinations that were previously deemed to have good quality infrastructure, which traditionally presented a ‘lower risk’ to travel, may now present new risks and considerations because of the additional strain being placed on their medical infrastructure.
Therefore, vaccinations, testing capabilities and infrastructure, medical facility access and capacity are all now additions for companies to consider when it comes to travel in the pandemic era. This is coupled with the challenges already being faced pre-pandemic which still very much remain.
The introduction of ISO 31030 is the first time we’ve truly had a consistent, global standard that breaks down all aspects of travel risk management today. As a result, it is a fundamental resource for those in charge of corporate travel, enabling them to review their current protocols and enhance their programme where needed. With travel beginning to resume, now is the time for organisations to review and evolve their corporate travel risk management programmes.
2. Testing as a key component of travel
Two years after the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation remains unpredictable as the world learns to live with the virus and new variants arise. While great steps forward are being made to open up the Asia Pacific to travel, the region continues to be the ‘first in, last out’ of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the importance of travel testing remains - particularly for unvaccinated travellers. According to a recent Collinson x CAPA - Centre for Aviation study of over 400 C-Suite and senior travel experts globally, more than 50% of respondents believe that testing protocols will be key to re-opening borders throughout 2022, while more than 25% believe that passenger testing will remain a necessity until well into 2023.
3. Technology to pave the way to the safe return of travel
It is essential that health and safety procedures stay in place to restore traveller confidence and help to keep them safe. Pre-flight and test-on-arrival measures, social distancing and enhanced levels of deep cleaning and hygiene for aircraft all help to re-build customer confidence.
The travel industry must continue looking at innovative ways to incorporate new technology to improve the post-pandemic travel experience. One example of technology meeting needs is Collinson’s Ready 2 Order digital food ordering solution. Customers can order food and beverages through a QR code or tap an NFC-enabled device on the signage at each table - all while seated comfortably in an airport lounge and social distancing.
4. Collaboration between governments and industry
To maximise the progress made during 2022, the collaboration between governments and the travel industry remains critical. The Collinson x CAPA survey reveals that 74% of respondents said they are concerned about reports of fraudulent COVID-19 test results and vaccination passports. As travel borders re-open, it is key that the use of strictly controlled internationally recognised health apps and passports are implemented.
5. Vaccinations for global herd immunity
The best way for Covid-19 to be effectively brought under control is through worldwide herd immunity. For this to happen, vaccine inequality must be overcome. A number of different initiatives are in place with Collinson recently partnering with the World Health Organisation Foundation for its ‘Go Give One’ global campaign which aims to help countries that are facing difficulties rolling out their vaccination programmes. The Global Travel Sector Vaccine Coalition has also been created by Collinson, Virgin Atlantic, the Pacific Asia Travel Association and WHO Foundation – and more travel organisations are being encouraged to join this programme which will be making a positive impact on the achievement of global immunity.
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