In today’s evolving landscape of business travel, the definition of duty of care is evolving like never before. Conventionally, duty of care has been taken at face value, simply focusing on keeping travellers safe and seeing them home. Today that alone no longer fits the bill. Duty of care has evolved into a new concept all its own.
Caring for the Traveller
This is the more traditional view of duty of care, familiar to many. At its core, it centres on the traveller’s individual welfare. For instance, if a traveller falls ill during a trip, the team back home can remain in communication through the travel management company (TMC) and travel counsellor. Similarly, if a traveller misses a connection or becomes stranded by a last-minute cancellation, the TMC and travel counsellor can connect with them and work out a solution. Likewise, if the traveller has been racking up long-haul red-eye flights, the TMC and travel counsellor can offer alternative scheduling during peak travel hours.
Caring for What the Traveller Cares About
This aspect of duty of care is a newer component. It’s not enough to simply care about the traveller. Now companies are expected to go above and beyond. A recent study conducted by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) revealed that the three aspects of travel that travellers care most about are:
- The autonomy over their trips
- The ability to sustain the lifestyle that they would like
- The impact of their travel decisions on the environment
Travellers expect their companies and TMCs to care about the individual aspects of travel that are important to them. If they are not considered, then travellers are incentivized to venture outside the established travel program to verify that the options they’re being offered best align with their beliefs and wishes. This is a win for the traveller but a loss for the TMCs that compete with these outside programs to capture bookings and a loss for the company who cannot adequately care for the traveller when they book outside the TMC.
Caring for the People Who Care for the Traveller
This angle of duty of care is perhaps the most unconventional. Duty of care now encompasses caring for those that care for the traveller. Often this is the travel counsellor. At GBT, we have around 8,000 travel counsellors. As an industry, we cannot expect travel counsellors to transition into the all-encompassing role of caring for the traveller and caring for what the traveller cares about without the proper tools. We’re tackling this by looking at our technology infrastructure. This enables us to redefine care at the intersection of technology and a human touch.
Overall, this is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to traveller care. Learn more about how technology is redefining traveller welfare with the exclusive webinar, Redefining Care for the Modern Business Traveller, Marilyn Markham, Director of Product and Care Strategy at American Express GBT, speaks candidly and dives into how technology is currently changing the continuum of care.
Click here to view the on-demand webinar.