ASATA Column: Managing crises

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You have an important meeting in China, but the fast-spreading Coronavirus means the country is in lock-down.

You have a flight booked to Spain, but the eruption of a volcano in Iceland has grounded all flights.

Travel is fraught with unexpected and uncontrollable events. The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has once again illustrated the importance of having a proper crisis management protocol in place, of which travel management and duty of care are essential components. What could be more important than your human resource?

Do you have your house in order? This is where your Travel Management Company can add immense value. Lean on them to help you craft a travel crisis management protocol that suits your company and its travel management goals, so that you’re prepared for the unexpected and can safeguard your travellers pre, during and post travel.

TMCs will proactively assist in identifying passengers whose travel may be impacted. It is likely that the risk of travel may be low, but travellers may still be reluctant to travel long-haul when the situation is evolving so quickly and details are sketchy.

It’s also important to ensure that your travel management team is monitoring for and acting on accurate information. The level of inaccurate reporting around Coronavirus, not only in South Africa but globally, has spread as wildly as the virus itself, and not all of it has been accurate. This is often the case when such incidents occur.

Your ASATA-accredited TMC is receiving accurate and continuously updated information from its association about the spread of the virus and how it impacts corporate travel. They can rely on such updates when any potential threat, event and incident occurs that threatens to disrupt corporate travel.

When situations evolve as quickly as the Coronavirus has, your TMC is the expert you can lean on to help you roll out your travel crisis management protocol.