Abby Penston, CEO of Focus Travel Partnership:
The added value and duty of care that travel management companies (TMCs) offer their corporate clients is at a premium now. While they continue to assist businesses travellers through the complexities of moving around the globe, they have adapted to the changing landscape and also hold the key to a return to responsible travel which in turn will kick start the economy and a return to normality.
The Prime Minister’s roadmap is a positive sign that recovery is on the horizon but support for the business travel sector is still needed right now.
Although our sector has been managing travel throughout the pandemic, it is a completely different beast to leisure, and while it is not illegal to travel for business purposes, the concerns for the wellbeing of travel teams and the costs of testing and quarantine put the breaks on most travel for work, so logically we will experience a lag to meaningful recovery.
Duty of care will be a key driver when companies deploy their teams domestically and internationally, alongside the bureaucratic red tape that we know we will all have to consider.
In the budget, the Government needs to revaluate the processes they have put into play and extend the furlough and other financial support.
As important as it is for our mental wellbeing to be able to travel for leisure needs, it is vital for the economy that we travel again for professional purposes.
Our economy has taken a battering, so the Government needs to support those sectors that will play a vital role in aiding economic recovery.