Duty of care and traveller wellbeing were understandably high on the agenda at this year’s Institute of Travel Managers (ITM) Conference, held online for the first time.With the theme of the event being ‘Thrive’, much of the original conference content was adapted to provide the audience with timely information and guidance on how to navigate the current global crisis and address the issues that will continue to impact the business travel industry over many months to come.
Drawing on the experience of a number of industry experts, including Anvil’s Group Managing Director, Matthew Judge, the virtual event covered a broad range of topics from the direct impact of Covid-19 to general traveller wellbeing, the changing role of the TMC and travel sustainability strategies.
Matthew Judge joined a panel discussion on one of the key topics entitled ‘Traveller Interrupted – Navigating the World of Disruption Management’. The session explored how organisations and the wider supply chain need to work together in order to deal with travel disruption and be more aligned when it comes to dealing with crisis response.
During the live session, Matthew reiterated the importance of travel managers having emergency response plans in place before a major incident rather than trying to develop one as it happens. “It needs to be set up properly, and I would suggest running drills with all of the right stakeholders throughout the year. It needs to involve the entire supply chain – your TMC, your risk management supplier, your suppliers, as well as internal people from travel teams, HR, risk or insurance and legal departments,” he stated.
Survey results revealed
The conference was also used to unveil the results of a recent survey of corporate travel buyers by the Institute of Travel Management.
The survey found that 73% of travel buyers believe their travel policies will be changed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in relation to budget and Duty of Care.
When asked to share their main discussion points at this time, the survey found Duty of Care, hygiene and distancing measures were top of the list with 93% of buyers saying these issues were being talked about the most.
This was followed closely by discussions on communications and advisories on global regulations (82%) and the importance of business continuity plans (51%).
Drawing on the positives, 76% of buyers agreed that the pandemic has presented the chance to get greater buy-in from senior management to drive travel compliance, particularly with regards to traveller wellbeing, behavioural change to reduce costs and improving colleague engagement.
A long-term supporter of the ITM, Anvil Group works closely with the industry body and its members to provide insight and advice on how to achieve best practice in business travel management and minimise the risk to corporate travellers. If you’d like advice on any of the subjects covered at the recent conference, or guidance on how to address the longer-term concerns or implications of the current pandemic, please contact us directly.