FCM focus on duty of care in response to poll

Most companies will only resume business travel if their organisation deems it safe to do so, according to the second poll in a multi-national ‘State of the Market’ study by FCM Travel Solutions. The majority will also revamp their travel policies to reflect increased duty of care considerations post Covid-19.

As a result of these findings, FCM is ramping up their duty of care support for customers significantly, starting with the launch of Traveller Hub, 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.

Traveller resources also include 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 innovative AI conversation-based messaging tool on the home page provided by cutting-edge technology developer Landbot. This powerful 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. It can also be accessed via Sam, the AI-based mobile app used by FCM clients’ business travellers.

A total 1,600 business travel managers, bookers and travellers at FCM’s multinational large-scale clients in EMEA, Asia, the Americas, India, Australia and New Zealand were surveyed again in the second poll in June 2020.

Asked to rank which triggers would prompt resuming business travel, easing or lifting border restrictions still came top with 93 per cent of respondents saying it has significant or some impact. However, the second trigger (89 per cent) is ‘our organisation deems it safe to travel and this is reflected in our travel policy’.

In terms of changes to travel policy post Covid-19, 59 per cent of participants said that traveller and supplier health and hygiene factors would be top priority. Duty of care obligations ranked the second most dominant area for change (44 per cent of respondents). Consolidation of bookings through a TMC also emerged as a priority with 21 per cent saying that they would not shift to higher levels of online booking adoption.