As companies plan their return to travel, policies which stated that bookings had to be made 14 days before or longer (primarily to keep costs down) may be discarded due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks. While most organizations keep their generic travel bans in place, which increasingly look likely to last for the rest of the year, travel managers and other players in the sector want to make life easier for those taking “essential” trips.
Ann Dery, Director, Global Travel and Meetings at market intelligence firm S&P Global, said, “One minute a country can be open, a week later it could close its borders again. . . . We have situations where people are working virtually, in different countries and different states. They may have to make those decisions at short notice.”
Dery also said the new mindset was a significant change for her company. “Around 60 to 70 percent of travel was booked between that 14 and 21-day window. We were very compliant in that area, and last year we had actually started an enforcement effort,” she said. However, in the new environment Dery said it would become more about on-demand travel. “It’s a different environment, with more short-term planning,” she added.