Rabu, 17 April 2013
No longer relegated to film noire roles, real-life bad guy terrorists troll constantly for new and sinister ways to disrupt global trade. Major targets? Transportation, energy, trade, and capital. Reality check for business travel management is that government can no longer provide complete protections for the traveling public. Results? Business travel management is forced to enter a sobering re-thinking of priorities including keeping track of personnel, evaluating political risks in international travel, refining travel insurance risks and even incorporating corporate security and training programs in order to upgrade skills and responses to threats. Yes, money matters and corporate travel management policies will constantly focus on discounts and expense control. But what's changed is now money factors have become dilute against the backdrop of 9/11 attacks in America, London subway bombings, Bali nightclub bombings, train bombings in Spain and even more grisly examples where organized society is confronted by non-state independent terrorist militia and suicidal fanatics. Corporate Travel Management Specialists For A New World -- Travel Safety And Travel Intelligence. Security, employee training, business traveler tracking and more are being conducted through technology-enabled centralized corporate travel management firms. No longer is business travel management merely the hunt for group travel discounts and frequent flyer miles programs. Lives are at risk. Learning The New Ropes -- Business Travel Seminars. Businesses regularly use seminars to teach the latest techniques in travel security. For example, Westerners are taught to avoid placing identifying stickers on luggage, or to wear clothes with logos that might readily identify themselves as Americans or Brits. Low key anonymity equals lower risk business travel. What Happens When Terrorists Attack -- Surviving Captivity. What about being captured by terrorists? Travel management pros now regularly pass along detailed guidelines for surviving captivity, how to cope, what to expect, what to say, understanding political and ideological motivations of terrorists. Travel Intelligence -- Real Time Employee Tracking Data Access. Business travel management experts stress real-time data access, beginning with meticulously planned and documented business travel plans...providing hour-to-hour movement details in advance...along with hotel and meeting venue contact access information, cell phones, names of customer contacts and more. Pre-Flight Advice -- Tip On Carry On Gear. Check to verify with your travel management advisors, but you'll soon be restricted to bare-bones carry on gear. Cell phones, lap tops, food, beverage, backpacks, even books may become banned as permitted carry on gear, following attempts in August by Pakistani and British terrorists to plant IED's (improvised explosive devices) in 10 flights departing to the USA. Pre-Flight Advice -- Tip On Airport Parking. Leave nothing to chance. Security delays, busy flights, limited on board services means that business and leisure travelers need to pre-book airport parking needs at least several days in advance of your scheduled departure. Get your business travel management experts to lock-in reservations for airport parking, car rentals and related needs throughout your travel itinerary. Pre-Flight Advice -- Tip On Airport Hotels. Airport security restrictions plus limited carry on allowance means significant "down time". You'll need to identify airport hotels that are technology enabled, offering you high speed web access to your business files, emails, as well as webex video conferencing so that you can contact customers, home office, prepare reports and presentations, plus stay in contact with family.
Rabu, 03 April 2013
Business travel has become so common that a considerable proportion of the corporate world of America is spending more time in airplanes and hotels than on their couches or in their automobiles. According to a recent estimate, about 40 million adults in the US travel on business at least once a year to a location about 50 miles from home. More than 20 percent of the trips made by African Americans, for instance, are related to their work. Those who do not need to travel frequently on business consider business travel glamorous and exciting. However, in reality, business travel is often arduous. It is tough physically, tough on the family, and especially tough on the pockets of businesspersons who do not have the luxury of generous expense accounts to take care of their travel expenses. In addition, those who travel on business regularly, quickly wise up to the fact that a stress-free and safe journey requires the smooth functioning of a number of interconnected factors, which includes the vagaries of the weather. According to a study conducted recently, monitoring business travel trends: - 58 percent of business travel is undertaken for association meetings and conferences, - 43 percent comprising of business travel made by individuals, - and 29 percent for corporate meetings. The study also identified some of the most popular destinations within the US for business travel. They are: - Washington, D.C., - New York, - Los Angeles/Long Beach, - Chicago, - Atlanta, - Boston, - Houston, - Minneapolis-St. Paul, - Detroit, - and Dallas. Irrespective of what the destination is, business travel is seldom an enjoyable experience. Some companies will allow their business travelers the opportunity to enjoy their travel surroundings but this is usually short lived depending on the demands of the trip. Business travelers, who have to make frequent trips, need special facilities to ease the hassles of traveling. Airlines and hotels are increasing the levels of services they provide in order to meet the growing demands of business travelers: Usually, business travelers research fares on their own and make their reservations online. According to a survey, it was found that only 32 percent of corporate travelers used the services of travel agents for their reservation needs, while the rest, 68 percent, preferred using the internet or online services to plan at least some part of their business traveling arrangements. Business travelers are usually technologically conversant; hence, choose to handle all their traveling arrangements through the Internet, limiting the necessity of having to interact with travel agents and professionals dealing with customer service. Most tourism related sites offer one-stop travel facilities for reservations of flights, booking rooms in hotels, and providing transportation on the ground. Major airlines like Delta and American have included travel-friendly features like locating cheap fares, finding economical hotel accommodation, and hiring cars on a rental basis inexpensively on their websites. Travelers, thus, can make arrangements for an entire business trip, which includes seating preferences, confirming special food requests, and a text message or e-mail verifying their flight status and information about the departure timings with a few clicks of the mouse button. Most of these sites provide boarding passes that can be printed out and online check-ins within 24 hours of the departure of the flight. At the airport, those travelers in a hurry can take advantage of check-in kiosks in order not to have to wait in long lines, and get their boarding passes and their seating information. Frequent Flyer Miles, Automatic Upgrades, and Comfortable Seating: One of the biggest perks of traveling frequently on business is the facility of accumulating points, which can be exchanged for vacations. Travelers, therefore, are always on the look out for hotels offering generous points facilities. Frequent air travelers also favor automatic upgrades and comfort inside the airplane, such as generous legroom and additional storage facilities overhead. Business traveler programs like EliteAccess provided by Continental Airlines offer comforts like guarantees of no-middle-seat and upgrades to the first class if possible. Getting Value for Money: Companies are constantly curtailing overhead expenses by cutting down on the travel allowances they give their executives, while business travelers look for ways in which they can maximize their allowances to the fullest. For example, several hotels offer free breakfasts, while others provide complimentary facilities such as a welcoming snack or allowing their guests to make free long distance and local calls. Many hotels also offer free newspapers, tea and coffee. Feeling at Home Far Away from Home: Business travelers are so frequently away from home that they look for services that replicate their home comforts. Although hotels are selected primarily for value and location, but business travelers expect home-like comforts like high quality toiletries, comfortable bedding, choices in beverages, cable TV and films, broadband internet access, exercise and convenient check-in/out facilities, and so on.