The meaning of duty of care has evolved over the last few months because traveler safety and well-being are more vital than ever. Kevin Yeh, Director, Product Strategy and Experience, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), shared his thoughts in a recent panel discussion on how to plan for the safe return to business travel.

Q: How do travel policies compare to 2019?

A: There’s been an uptick in interest in duty of care applications and support. As clients are looking to start traveling again, there’s a lot of focus on the prebooking and pre-trip authorization part of the overall traveler experience. Back in March, travel managers were scrambling to change their policy on the fly and identify those places where there were new restrictions on travel. It moved very quickly from “you can go anywhere” to “here are the hot spots you can’t go to” to “don’t fly internationally” to “all trips require approval.” As things start up again, we will have to go through these stages. Helping travel managers work through this will be critical.

Q: How can companies implement a strong duty of care plan?

A: It starts with providing as much information as you can to travelers as they start to begin thinking about traveling again. Communication is key because things are going to be changing so dynamically. Travel managers and security managers need to be able to get information to travelers before and after they book and communicate to all travelers what changes have been made to policies. This also means being able to communicate on trips and help travelers that might be concerned with newly imposed quarantine rules. The ability for travel managers to quickly communicate to travelers as things change is going to be very important.

Q: What can companies do with this increase in traveler data?

A: Data plays a role in making sure that travelers are booking in policy. There are reports that look at not only booking data but also card spend data to provide travel managers with information where there might be leakage, so they can action on that. If we can get all travelers flying in compliance, then get flight, hotel, and car information combined with spend information, then you can know where travelers are congregating and going outside of meetings. This is all information that may be a good byproduct of everything going on. Travelers may now be more willing to book within policy and provide this information to the company so travel managers have more traveler information to use.

Click here to view the on-demand panel discussion, “Ensuring the Safety and Well-being of Your Travelers: Creating A Well-Informed Safety Policy,” to learn more.