ABTA’s online Breakfast Get-Together on 27 August provided Travel Buyers with some much needed face-to-face interaction, guidance for the next few months, and a ‘feel-good’ motivational wellness session.
Designed as a bit of a ‘health check’, Buyers were able to share some positive messages addressing their key lessons learned over the past 6 months, and everyone enjoyed the chance to have some human interaction and to be reminded that they are not alone.
Uber for Business provided breakfast vouchers from Uber Eats for the get-together and Uber’s Dan Lucas shared insights around the importance of being agile and finding new ways to add value to clients over this time. Food deliveries became one of the key ways that Uber did this, at a time when less focus was being placed on transport by their clients.
Lebo Mashishi from CitiBank shared the importance of companies being far more personal in their approach over the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching out to clients on a one-on-one basis and providing solutions and support of a far more ‘human’ and less corporate ‘red tape’ nature.
Debbie Van Heerden of Tourvest Travel Services also spoke of the importance of using this time to fast forward many new technological solutions for their clients that they may otherwise not have had the necessity, time or resources to develop.
Moses Mashigo of Nedbank shared insights and challenges around the dramatic reduction of spend on corporate cards, disputes on travel bookings and accounts falling into arrears. He mentioned the importance of improved digitisation and companies supplying clients with improved online buying opportunities, and ensuring that they are available to support their clients at this time and in the future.
From a Travel Buyers perspective, our delegates shared insights into the lessons that they have learned over this time. Nicole Fonzari of Cummins mentioned the vital importance of the TMC partnership and how TMC’s have really managed to shine, and show their value over this time, as well as the importance of updating Travel Policies over this time, specifically focusing on having local policies up to date in relation to the company’s global policy.
Craig Sumption from Hatch shared the changes that need to be done from a pre-approval and ‘journey management’ perspective to ensure travellers are well prepared and that travel is essential before it is approved, and also how the need for travel has been dramatically minimised with all of the online meeting options available, which could be a major concern for travel suppliers in the coming months. This concern has also been highlighted by ABTA’s recent survey across over 700 travellers who estimate the 50% of their travel can be replaced by online options.
Heidi Kratochvil of Air Liquide shared some insights from a different angle. With Air Liquide providing essential health care services often in remote areas, keeping travellers well organised and safe was a huge challenge, which was thankfully greatly minimised by their TMC who helped them make quick decisions.
Buyers also discussed their concerns around traveller readiness. From ABTA’s recent survey, travellers highlighted several travel-related fears including suppliers having effective sanitation measures in place, concerns from their family about travelling, and the fear of contracting Covid-19 while travelling and not having effective support in place to name a few.
Karin Dirr from Standard Bank shared the many concerns that companies are dealing with in relation to the risk and inconvenience of ‘travel unusual’ and the fact that there are many elements that are now out of the company’s control and thus suggests that companies try to avoid international travel at all costs until the situation has stabilised far more.
Dr Jean Hazlitt from Nedbank shared some motivational insights around the importance of staying connected during this time, managing wellness and anxiety from a holistic perspective, managing the change curve and giving our staff some opportunities to connect with each other in a more fun way to let their hair down. Barbara Singh from Roche Diagnostics agrees and says during a very stressful time, having wellness activities for staff online and staying connected through Spring day activities and similar initiatives is a vital element to keep staff motivated and cared for.
This is a time to be kind to ourselves and each other and to remember that it is okay not to be okay – as isolated as we often feel, we are not alone and we are still stronger together!
If you missed this webinar, you are able to listen to it online HERE.
This resource is free of charge for ABTA Members and non Members pay R 250 ($15).