Following the reopening of borders for international travel, FCM Travel Solutions says that South African business travellers have started travelling into Africa while adopting a wait-and-see approach for other international destinations.
“It’s one thing for government to say travel is permitted again and to lift the travel restrictions, but travellers also need to want to go, airlines need to resume operations and destination countries need to be ready to welcome South African travellers again.”“Travel to Tanzania, especially, has picked up again, followed by Cote D’Ivoire, then Congo and Zambia,” says Bonnie Smith, General Manager FCM Travel Solutions. “After months of shutdown and remote working, the reopening of borders for business travel is a very welcome development for multinationals and large enterprises – which form the bulk of FCM’s clients. They can now finally embark upon the road to recovery, resume on-site operations and reconnect with their offices around Africa.” She adds, “Although government has reopened the borders to the entire world for business travel, travellers are still reluctant to venture outside Africa. It’s one thing for government to say travel is permitted again and to lift the travel restrictions, but travellers also need to want to go, airlines need to resume operations and destination countries need to be ready to welcome South African travellers again.”
“Most businesses will take a phased approach to resuming domestic and international business travel over the next 12 months.”FCM Travel Solutions recently launched a global ‘State of the Market’ survey to better understand business traveller sentiment. A total of 2 500 business travel managers, bookers and travellers in Australia, New Zealand, EMEA, Asia, and the Americas took part in it. The results show that most businesses will take a phased approach to resuming domestic and international business travel over the next 12 months. Only half of respondents believe that their business travel volumes will reach pre-coronavirus levels in the near term. Even during lockdown, FCM continued to provide essential travel arrangements within South Africa for companies from industries such as mining; wholesale trade; healthcare and social assistance; electricity and waste services; construction; scientific and technical services; and manufacturing.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies during these times.”Smith says, “Working with so many industries during this pandemic has allowed us to formulate thorough travel risk strategies for different sectors. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies during these times. To help provide direction for companies, FCM has developed a Return to Travel Framework to empower customers to take confident action when it comes to resuming business travel.” The corporate brands under the Flight Centre Travel Group umbrella have also created resources for their customers, such as the Traveller Information Hub. It contains the latest air, hotel, and border updates from across the globe; an interactive map to help travellers assess their destination’s risk profile; and chatbot assistance for any possible questions. Please note this article carries an amendment: It initially stated the most popular African destinations for FCM Travel Solution’s business travellers as Kenya, Botswana and Zambia. This was updated on 15 October to Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire and Zambia. READ: Travel well: 5 tips for business travellers during COVID-19