We live in a consumption society with a voracious appetite for raw materials – the demand for energy is expected to increase by 36% over the next 10 years.
Matching the requirement for resources such as oil and gas is the Marine and Offshore sector and its invisible workforce of 1.5 million professionals working on ships worldwide. Could you imagine that a company such as BP is estimated to spend more than $156 million per year on worldwide business travel? Yes, it does, and, its management requires military precision, according to a recent Amadeus study – Marine & Offshore Travel – All hands on deck
Take, for example 45-year-old Julius Romero, who has worked in the oil and gas industry for the past 15 years. He works onboard a semi-submersible drilling rig off the coast of Russia and every five weeks he travels to his home in Manila. That involves a boat transfer or helicopter ride, layovers, hotel stays, several flights and airport transfers. Romero’s long, fragmented journey and extended periods away from home are typical of workers in the Marine & Offshore industry, and amply illustrate the need for travel professionals with specialist expertise and perceptive planning skills to understand these travellers who are not taking a suitcase but loads of luggage with them.
These travel agents handle the challenging task of getting crews to ships and engineers, technicians and support crew to rigs – on time, anywhere in the world. Last-minute changes are prevalent in this sector, large groups need to be on site at short notice and there may be 11th
hour changes to travel plans due to alterations in crew rotation. At least 57% of this sector’s bookings are created and/or modified within three days of departure – two-and-a-half times more than the corporate travel standard.
The study reveals that travel professionals serving this sector need to be precise and up to date with the latest safety and security measures, able to locate, inform and assist these travellers who often work in challenging areas. One miscalculation will have extended ramifications. Travel professionals therefore need access to last-seat availability and content in far-flung places. This is where Amadeus plays a key role, by providing the technology that delivers this, as well as other important functionalities required by the Marine & Offshore industry.
Paul de Villiers