A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
The global COVID-19 crisis has impacted our daily lives in numerous ways, and has definitely changed the way we do business – possibly for good. While many businesses were forced to send their employees home and adopt a remote work model, other leaders, managers, and frequent business travelers are now faced with new challenges. With so many people relying on their ability to travel nationally and internationally to grow their companies and personal brands, the 2020 travel restrictions have certainly taken a toll on our livelihood and jeopardized our professional future.
However, that doesn’t mean that things aren’t slowly turning back around, and it’s safe to say that you don’t have to start building a new career in the new normal. However, it does mean that you need to monitor how the situation is developing and know what you can do to travel as efficiently and safely as possible in the post COVID-19 world. Let’s take a closer look at how the coronavirus pandemic has changed business travel and what that means for you.
The creation of regional travel zones
Many countries around the world are still under strict quarantine and have thus closed their borders for all international travel, and unfortunately, many airlines are unable to even make national flights due to the pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be completely grounded for the foreseeable future, as there is still a way to travel to neighboring countries and the region. In recent months, countries have started creating regional travel zones to save what’s left of their economies, allowing travelers from safe, green zones to visit.
Even though you can find these green zones all over the world, you should still think twice before travelling there, as that doesn’t mean that there is no risk of getting infected. In fact, the risk very much present, albeit slightly lower than other parts of the world. To minimize risk as much as possible, though, hygiene has become the number one priority.
Hygiene in transit is paramount
Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that the travel and hospitality industries are struggling at the moment, and many companies will not survive the COVID-19 crisis. In order to stay operational and survive the crisis, companies in these industries need to adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding hygiene, social distancing, and other safety measures. Otherwise, they risk getting their licenses revoked and closing their doors for good.
This might not be a problem for leaders and employees who are working from home, but for frequent work travelers, it can be a challenge to find the right flights and avoid having to postpone their trip. Nevertheless, it’s a good sign that companies are adhering to these safety measures and that numerous trustworthy brands are still operational.
Serviced apartments are replacing big hotels
The hotel industry has had to go through some drastic changes in order to stay alive during this time, however, it’s important to note that travelers are now choosing other types of accommodation in order to minimize risk. This is especially prevalent in global business and travel hubs like Hong Kong, where travelers aren’t too keen to put their trust in big hotel brands.
Instead, they are increasingly putting trust in the new Hong Kong serviced apartments that accommodate fewer tenants and are thus able to maintain a high level of cleanliness at all times. The small number of tenants combined with daily cleaning and sanitation allows for better social distancing and overall hygiene, and we can expect these serviced apartments to become more popular around the world in the months to come.
Travel companies will push more loyalty programs
In their attempt to stay afloat and maximize customer retention as much as possible, travel companies are going to start focusing on loyalty programs and rewards that business travelers can use to snag better deals during the COVID-19 pandemic and when the crisis has passed. This will allow them to boost brand awareness and loyalty during this period, so be sure to be on the lookout for better deals and travel packages.
Your travel essentials have changed
Last but not least, it’s important to note how your business travel essentials have changed since the outbreak, and what you need to focus on in order to stay safe. For one, you need to pack disposable face masks for your trip as well as disposable gloves. Make sure that you have ample hand sanitizer on your person, and it wouldn’t hurt to bring a thermometer with you just in case. Check with your doctor about the medication you should bring as well, so that you can act quickly if you start experiencing symptoms while on the road.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business world for good, but that doesn’t mean that travelers need to start looking for a new job. With these insights in mind, you can start traveling again while staying safe at all times.