As we plan for a post Covid Travel scenario, one document that is very important is the Corporate Travel Policy document. What is the Corporate Travel Policy? It is that document that basically lays out the rules for corporate travel that employees of a company need to follow, to ensure travel for and on behalf of the company is handled in sync with the vision of the company. It will ensure that all business travel effectively delivers to the financial goals of the company.
The onslaught of Covid-19 has been relentless. Air Travel has taken its mightiest blow ever in the history of post-war Civil Aviation. It created an almost complete lockdown for the Industry in terms of International Travel. The good news is that all of these effects will peak, and eventually when they find the vaccine, disappear.
The blow the phenomenon has dealt the Industry and many other businesses around the world, has no parallel. It has already changed the Business completely. Even as Airline heads are looking at a revival on their drawing boards, we know that Covid-19 has changed the face of travel forever.
As Airlines, orchestrate the relaunching of services, Travel Management Companies (TMC), are reviewing everything from staffing upwards. They are studying their operating costs. What will resurface from the depths of the disaster will be a different, more efficient, and cohesive Industry.
The Airline industry has been one of the worst hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be several years before airlines around the world recover from the damage. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), estimates lost revenue for 2020 will be 314 Billion US dollars. IATA also estimates that 4.5 Million flights will be cancelled by June 30, 2020. Never before has the Industry been hit so badly by a pandemic virus.
In the recent weeks a lot has been written in the Press, discussed on TV and over the airwaves, about the impact the deadly disease will have on the Airline Industry and its consequences. It may well change the entire face of air travel for ever. Many doomsday specialists tell us air travel will never be the same again.
VAT Recovery has for most of its life, been an involved and paper-intensive process. Of course, it is understood we deal with Governments; and they have known to be notoriously bureaucratic. Even today, many of them are steeped in cumbersome paper-work. Fortunately, we are beginning to see a little light, at the end of the tunnel. European nations see the need to cut across the processes of the past, and rapidly move into the 21st century, and the age of modern technology.
Many people may consider Travel Insurance to be an instrument sold by peddlers of doom. That indeed is a matter of personal opinion. Personally, I think Travel Insurance is a necessary part of every trip. It provides the traveller with a certain amount of comfort, and more – especially when things go wrong.
The Contact Centre for corporate travel is the engine around which the whole business revolves. If you don’t have a smoothly operating Contact Centre, you do not have a product. The Unit can be quite a beast when it comes to Technology. The secret of success in a Contact Centre lies with the manager’s skill and ability to harness the entire offering of the various technologies employed, and make them work together, to deliver a best-in-class product.
The Contact Centre is the heart of the Corporate Travel service to clients. It is the engine; everything else will revolve around it. Without it, there can be no service. Where then, would be the ideal location for your all-important Corporate Travel Contact Centre? Many a diehard traditionalist would tell you that it should be located where the head office is. In other words, the Managing Director or CEO, would like it where he is located. Such a notion, I presume, would come from a desire to show off one’s empire to every visitor. Some others would argue for it to be located in their own building, wherever that may be. Their main argument would be that with such an arrangement, they will have no rental costs. My own views on the subject are very different.
Proposed originally by the German industrialist Wilhelm von Siemens in 1918, Value Added Tax or VAT has become an important part of the Tax structure in many countries. France was the first country to introduce VAT in 1954. Today it is, for France, the most important source of State Finance and forms almost 50% of the Government’s revenues. Other countries were quick to add VAT to their own Tax structures. Most countries in the world today charge Value Added Tax, as part of their fiscal policy. It is a Tax that even visitors to such countries have to pay. It is unavoidable. It can be as high as 25.50% in some countries. Every hotel stay, or restaurant bill, involves VAT. The Scandinavian countries charge the highest rates. In some countries, different services or goods, attract different rates of VAT that is chargeable. VAT varies from 5% to 25.50%. Fortunately, many companies become eligible for a VAT refund on the business travel of their employees.
A Request for Proposal or an RFP, is an integral part of a Multinational Company’s (MNC) process of choosing their Travel Management Company (TMC). Most MNCs will handle their choice through such a process. It may however be noted, from a Travel agent’s point of view, if you are not part of a major international TMC Network, you may never get to see the RFP of such an organisation. They are usually only sent out to the top three in the Business.
Whatever the size of your Travel Account, you as a corporate, have every right to an efficient corporate travel agent. Travel agencies as we well know, come in all shapes and sizes. There are good ones, and bad ones. Really, it is up to you, how you evaluate your travel agent; but if you are looking at the best service for acceptable costs, you’d have to put your travel agent under the microscope.