Picture this: You arrive in a different country on an important business trip. You take a taxi to your hotel, settle into your room comfortably, and suddenly, disaster strikes. You could not have seen it coming, but for now, you find yourself stranded in the middle of a critical situation in an unknown country.What do you do?
Just recently, on Wednesday, June 7, an enormous fire tore through one of London’s premier five-star hotels, the Mandarin Oriental, located in the upscale Knightsbridge district. Over 100 firefighters rushed to the scene, and it took six hours before the blaze was brought under control. Thirty-six hotel guests were evacuated, in addition to 250 members of the hotel’s staff.
Unfortunately so, disasters like the one that shook the Mandarin Oriental are as unpredictable as they are common. They unfold at any place, any time, with no warnings of any kind, leaving the affected to deal with the aftermath as best they can.
Locals, at least within the disaster zone, possess the knowledge and support needed to best handle an unexpected emergency. They own a keen understanding of the landscape, and as such, can transition swiftly into any sort of Plan B.
Business travelers, on the other hand, face far greater obstacles. Their ability to adjust on the fly is undermined by the unfamiliarity of the setting. They have no single person to turn to or rely on, and as a result, are left scrambling for solutions.
This is What You Do!
One of the most important features of a business travel agent is the ability to act as an emergency contact. Whether traveling domestically or abroad, the likelihood of having reliable acquaintances at your business destination is slim. Without an immediate support network, compounded by ever-challenging language barriers, business travelers are at a significant disadvantage.
If for whatever reason, a natural disaster, Flight/Hotel emergencies or political unrest sweeps through your city or country of business, you may find yourself at serious risk. In this case, your business travel agency will lend a hand.
As an emergency contact, your TMC will help sort issues out and assist you on a moment’s notice, regardless of time and location. The presence of an attentive dedicated corporate travel agent relieves the stress of handling potentially dangerous or unpleasant situations. Their range of on-the-ground contacts should ensure a solution to any variety of problems, paving the way for a smooth, worry-free business trip.
A recent study by American Express Global Business Travel on how current geopolitical issues are affecting travel found that of 239 corporate travel managers surveyed, 56 percent had seen an increase in reports of heightened personal safety concerns since 2016.
54 percent of these same corporate travel managers also said travelers had expressed growing concerns over how possible changes in visa requirements and immigration policies will affect travel to and from the United States.
The pace of business travel is rising faster than ever before, and the direct impact on the security and well being of the traveler has become increasingly apparent. Travel agencies are creating improved policies and strengthening existing ones to best equip for the range of diverse complications business travelers must contend with, complications that encompass more than just terrorism and severe weather conditions.
For business travelers, having a travel management agency that can support and assist in times of turmoil has become of utmost importance, as disaster can strike when you least expect it, leaving you flat-footed, with your back against a wall.
Speak to one of our experienced business travel agents and find out more about the benefits of working with a travel management agency and how you can make your business trips as secure and worry-free as ever.