SAFE PASSAGE
Business Traveler|July/August 2020
What travelers should know about taking care when they take to the road in a post-panic world
FATIMA DURRANI KHAN

Looking ahead to the world as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, business travelers face a daunting balancing act: managing current risks and working to reboot their enterprises. So it’s more important than ever for business travelers to understand their insurance needs, company risks and best practices for personal safety.

While international business travel is beginning to open, the notion of “getting back to normal” is still a far cry from reality. As it stands, shrinking economies around the world and a likely number of failures across the travel industry will necessitate a continued overall slower pace for business travel. Add to this mix recent civil unrest in the US and elsewhere and the danger of new COVID-19 outbreaks, and we may be in a “one step forward, two steps back” scenario for many months ahead.

The pandemic response is generating almost daily changes to travel providers’ policies, and confusing (and sometimes contradictory) health guidelines from different sources. In such an environment, rebuilding trust in travel will be the primary driver behind decision-making.

“With a pandemic like COVID-19, employers and employees now have to assess a risk which is quite different than a political or natural disaster risk, and a risk that is worldwide, so employers need to exercise caution for domestic travel as well,” says Dominick Zenzola, vice president and senior manager of accident and health underwriting at global insurer Axis.

“There’s a lot of focus on best practices for staying safe, but it’s of paramount importance for travelers to also understand, in detail, how they individually – or how their company – will prepare to actually manage a health or safety event while traveling,” notes Michael Hallman, CEO of Birmingham, AL-based Medjet. “It’s especially important in rebuilding their own confidence in getting back out on the road,” Hallman adds. “Knowledge is power.”

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Rebuilding the trust muscle takes time, patience and doing your due diligence. “Until we have reliable, confirmed data from several trusted sources, its best to err on the side of caution,” prefaces Stephen Barth, founder of HospitalityLawyer.com in Houston, TX. “So before going to your destination, understand what’s happening in that place.”

But the good news, Barth explains, is that you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. “You can access websites such as ISOS (internationalsos.com) where they track both medical and security conditions on the ground. For example, they know whether local laws require you to quarantine for 28 days or 14 or 3; whether you’re required to wear masks or if there is a curfew. Knowing the rules in advance is essential for ‘smart’ travel risk management.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TRAVELERView All

TESTING 1-2 -3

For now, COVID-19 tests are likely to be part of your travel experience. Here’s your guide to what to look for and where to find it

7 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

ROI FROM THE ROAD

As business travel resets, maximizing value of each trip is a bigger question than go-or-no-go

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

New World Travel Order

Your voice today can help shape the journeys of the future

3 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

MIXED MESSAGES

Hybrid meetings are likely here to stay, but are already morphing into something more

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

RETURN TO TRAVEL

Travelers and the industry both ask: Are we there yet?

8 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

REMOTE POSSIBILITIES

Digital nomads are being inspired to imagine themselves working from – just about everywhere

6 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

Points of Interest

As post-pandemic travel restarts, your loyalty may be more valuable than ever

4 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

LEAN MACHINES

The latest laptops combine power and portability, with all of the features you need for work and play both at home or on the move

7 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

Hospitality Redefined

In a post-pandemic world, the hotel business is learning to speak a different language

8 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI

BACKGROUND Situated on Michigan’s historic Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw Island), this is perhaps the region’s most iconic hotel drawing devotees season after season since 1887. This resort is a registered National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Hotels of America. Movie buffs might recognize the hotel from the 1980 film Somewhere in Time.

2 mins read
Business Traveler
June/July 2021