European Summer Travel Surge

Episode #30 of NAVIGATE shares what business travellers need to look out for this summer.

European Summer Travel Surge: What Business Travellers Need to Know




Kate Fitzpatrick

0:00:04 – 0:00:20

Hi and welcome to NAVIGATE. I’m your host, Kate Fitzpatrick. I’m the regional security director, for Europe and Africa, also known as EMEA. And joining me today is the operations manager at World Travel Protection, London Command Centre, Declan McDermott.

Declan McDermott

0:00:21 – 0:00:22

Hi Kate, thanks for having me on.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:00:23 – 0:00:40

Great to see you. lovely to have you here. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the impact that European summer holiday travel has on business travel. And you’re already seeing this firsthand in our command centers. Do you want to set the scene and tell us a little bit about what you’re experiencing already this year?

Declan McDermott

0:00:40 – 0:02:27

Yeah, sure. So there’s a few things to consider. And one of those, it’s a bit annoying, really, because we still are talking about COVID all the time, even though everybody wants to forget it, we can’t really have a conversation about now without including it.

And so I suppose when we consider the impacts of COVID last year, even though travellers started booking trips in the spring, after the Omicron wave, we’ve already had three times as many evac cases this March than we did in February and March in 2022 combined, so we can already see a big uplift in the amount of cases that we’re getting in. So March doubled the amount of cases that we saw from February. And so we can expect those numbers to grow in European summer, over the coming months, it’s likely gonna surpass last summer’s numbers quite quickly, and they had risen from the year before that. Interestingly, though, if we compare quarter one from this year, to quarter one of 2019, we still aren’t quite reaching those levels. So whilst we’re surpassing the levels from the last two years, we’re not quite at those 2019 levels yet.

And actually, that was reflected over Easter. So we had a much quieter from a case management side, a much quieter Easter than we’re expecting, because from a sales in leisure and the amount of corporate business travellers that we have, we were expecting to have more cases come in, but there was actually less so we can plan we can forecast for summer off of the back of both of these things, we know that it’s going to be more than last year. So we’ve got stuff and everything in place to deal with that. But actually, it might not be as busy as 2019. Yet things are still recovering. And that’s why we still have to have this conversation about COVID. Because we’re not back to pre COVID levels yet.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:02:28 – 0:03:08

No, I completely agree Declan. I think that COVID changed things, obviously. And I think people do say we’re recovering from it. But it’s one of those subjects that people don’t like to talk about anymore, because without being rude, they feel slightly bored by it all. And it’s kind of like, well, they’re sick of the COVID side of things. But we’ve definitely got to look at the data and the statistics that it provides.

And also, when we look at what happened during COVID, people changed their way of working, and they changed the way of travel in so many ways. And we can see that statistically from what you said there. So in January 19, pre COVID. So what we’re seeing now, we’re gradually getting there. But it’s still going to be a very different picture than it was in 19, isn’t it?

Declan McDermott

0:03:08 – 0:03:11

Certainly is, yeah. Certainly is.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:03:11 – 0:03:22

Also Declan, how is the up and coming travel season looking to you from your perspective and your team? And what you’re seeing currently, as we’re moving into the Europe summer, as we call it? What are you seeing?

Declan McDermott

0:03:23 – 0:04:40

So same way the airlines are struggling to fill certain jobs, the hospitality sector and associated supporting roles will be seeing difficulties and replacing resigned staff. And that’s all as an outcome of the pandemic. The staff shortages, and ongoing inflation will most certainly contribute to the increasing costs associated with travel accommodation and rental car costs.

For example, you know, they’re so much more expensive now, to rent a car, wherever you are across Europe and across the world. They might be up by 50% or more in some regions in comparison to the same services from 12 months previous. So with the anticipated increase that we’ve spoken about before, but the number of travellers over 2023 Compared to 2022 prices are almost certainly expected to maintain their current trajectory over the next 12 months, with the demand outstripping supply and all of the necessary aspects of travel.

But despite this, travel numbers are expected to surge when compared to previous year and this will almost certainly drive continued inflation until such time as the travel industry is able to refit, restaff and resupply enough that we get back to those numbers in 2019. We need to get back there.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:04:40 – 0:05:31

You touched on something that I actually had a personal experience with. So I was talking to France recently and I needed a hire car. And in the past where you’ve just ordered a hire car online, you pick it up at the airport and stuff. I didn’t even realize this situation but during COVID, a lot of high car companies sold off their fleet because they were too old to use as hire cars. So they’re now in a position where they’re having to buy new cars, etc. So they’re building back up their position.

So I was actually having to phone these companies nevermind doing like an online application, and you’ve kind of, in the past been guaranteed a car. When you land at the airport, you go to the desk and you pick up the keys, that wasn’t the same, I had to make sure they had a car ready for me, because they were literally mixing people up and down because they didn’t have the supply and demand. So it’s a massively important point, you know, it’s people are still recovering, aren’t they? And that’s one example really.

Declan McDermott

0:05:32 – 0:05:58

Yeah and people need it, you know, with the will probably touch on that a bit later. But every area is going to be affected by this increase of travellers. And so car hire is one of them, but you know, the flights are going to be the same, and trains are going to be the same. And so if one area is under strain, it puts a strain on these other services. And so what we need is for all of that to stand up for the people that are out there, getting back out into the world.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:05:58 – 0:06:21

But if we think realistically, it’s gonna take a bit of time is that if we’re honest, it’s not going to happen overnight. So in terms of a business traveller, it’s something that they may need to consider before they travel that these things are not what they used to be. So we need to really consider them.

What do you feel is the best strategy for booking summer travel, and should travellers book now or wait for a fare sale? What are your thoughts and opinions, in addition to what you’re seeing in the actual environment that you’re working in?

Declan McDermott

0:06:22 – 0:09:24

It depends, I suppose, it does depend. So where possible, travellers probably should seek to book their travel as far in advance as possible, especially if they’re required to arrive in their destination for a specific timeframe, you know, so if you’ve got a meeting over a certain amount of days, then the advice is to book in advance. Fare sales are naturally a great opportunity to reduce costs, however, there’s no guarantee that the supplier will meet demand or that the sales provide flights that meet the travellers needs. Or, you know, it’s essential that a longer timeframe is applied to booking than somebody might have done, as we’ve mentioned before, as in 2019, when there was more availability.

But if there is no requirement for you to be in your destination during a specific window of time, then travellers should consider being flexible with their travel dates, advantage of lower fares, this could be adjusting travel a few days in either direction, or even delaying until an off peak season.

But a polite caution, because just because you can secure a great deal on a flight doesn’t mean that you’re able to make similar savings, accommodation, or you know, once you get there for your travel with, like we’ve just mentioned, if you need to book a car, you’re not going to be able to save in the same way. And shopping around is probably the best idea for both.

And also, this pre planning for travel is really important, not just for costs. But also, if we think about Europe, we’re going to have lots of our travellers traveling to Europe. And as we know, we have an ongoing conflict in Europe at the moment, and so – have a negative impact on neighboring countries, it’s got the potential to espaces could be shut down and things like that.

So this ongoing conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, these could overlap into bordering countries like Poland or Romania, where people go for business as well as city breaks, you know. And then there’s the potential there for our travellers to get caught up in a potentially terrible situation, or stuck in a location due to the airspace closure.

But something that we can provide our people with is our riskline and our travel assist portals. So travel risk management advice that we can advise to people. And that’s where we’re situated where we can be giving real time updates, you know, so historically, it was just our business and corporate travellers that had access to our travel risk management portals. But now also that is coming on board for our leisure customers as well.

So through the app, you know, they can get real time updates about risks and delays and disruptions. And the beauty of this as well is that if you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can then phone us. You’ve got us on the end of the phone, we’ve got our staff are obviously all trained on how to provide the appropriate information by using the more in depth version of what they’ve got on their phones. But we also have people like you, Kate and the rest of your team. You’re the experts in this space.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:09:24 – 0:09:38

When you mentioned that Declan, I thought instantly that it comes to us, you know, you’ve got such a great asset there, by what we’ve got as a security team, plus the Riskline and the Travel Assist. It’s a really good combination, isn’t it?

Declan McDermott

0:09:38 – 0:10:53

It really is, yeah. And I think the way that that training has been rolled out with a mixture of the expertise that we have in our training team, along with the expertise that we have in our security team has really made it possible for our staff to feel competent and capable in order to deliver the message to our customers that are traveling to less risky destinations.

But they still want that reassurance from us, you know that if I go there, what’s going to happen you know, we get to this destination or that destination, and then anything that is much more risky and a bit more complex, we know that we can escalate to the likes of yourself to give that really in depth and expert opinion.

And another thing, talking about the pandemic and the impact that it’s had as there was a big push towards contactless payments and things. So that’s something that people need to consider as well, because in the cities, all over the world, not maybe not the whole world, but in many, many big cities all over the world, you can just use your Google Pay or your iPhone pay or whatever you’re using.

But once you get outside of the cities, not everywhere in the world is equipped for that. People need to understand that we don’t want to see people being overly reliant on those things. And still considering you might need cash in your back pocket for when you go into some of these places in order to do the things that you want to do. And so we need to consider that as well.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:10:54 – 0:12:10

I fully agree with that point, Declan. I recently did a briefing for a company that are global. And I think people have got so used to, I mean, the reason because of COVID. It was from the hygiene point of view that a lot of people move to the contactless side of things. However, not every country in the world got that. And at the same time, you’ve got to realize that when people are traveling, say, let’s take London, for example. You can get into a cab and you can use your car that’s contactless or use Apple Bay, that doesn’t work across the world.

And I was saying, you know, some of the big denominations like US dollars, you British pounds, euros, it’s always useful to have that in your back pocket, because you’re not going to get that kind of exposure across the whole globe, where you can just jump in a cab now, and pay it contactless, it just doesn’t work. It just hasn’t rolled out everywhere.

So it’s always something that’s very useful to have one of the bigger denominations that you can maybe get an exchange rate on or it’s recognized. So it’s something that we really do push in terms of, for business travellers, if you’ve got dollars, or if you’ve got pounds, and euros, and it’s currency in itself, it’s good currency to be able to exchange because people have took for granted maybe during COVID, that they can just use their phone, Apple Pay and a card, and not everywhere in the world is joining that, you know, so it’s a very good point.

Declan McDermott

0:12:11 – 0:12:34

And if you’re a leisure traveller, or a corporate traveller, that has only started traveling, post pandemic, you know, you’re a younger person that’s joined the business, you might not be used to paying without those methods. So this is the area where people need to be educated on and really think about where they’re going before they get there, and what type of payments that you can process there.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:12:34 – 0:13:33

That’s a very good point. Because let’s be fair, the younger generation or so technically minded, they don’t see it, like we do in the older generation, where we would have like maybe cash at some level, because that’s what we used to carry in. And you might need that currency, if you get into a taxi or you’re in a bit of bother, they’re not going to talk in any other language other than cash.

So definitely an educational point of view dependent where people are going, and this is where the pre travel deployment stuff comes in. And things like that, or a little bit of ground knowledge from riskline and what we’ve got our tools to assist us, it’s always worth having that little bit of cash in your back pocket. And the younger people maybe like you said, don’t know that as much because they’ve not been used to it and they’ve never had to be. So it’s something that we need to definitely look at in terms of a business traveller, it’s always good to carry certain currencies. Because at the end of the day, if you need to get into a taxi urgently need to get from A to B, and there’s no contact list or anything else. It’s the only money they’re going to take. So there’s definitely a really good point.

Declan McDermott

0:13:33 – 0:13:55

I think you can apply that to your travel documents as well, you know, we’re so used to having all of our travel documents on our phones. So you have your boarding card as a QR code you this just get scanned. But these are things that you should have a printout because we never went anywhere without printouts a few years ago, did we say it’s probably an idea to still carry on with those stuff as a backup to what you’ve got saved on your phone.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:13:55 – 0:14:37

Such a good point, honestly. And you might laugh. But recently, my parents are a bit older generation than us. They didn’t even know a QR code was. They still go through the process of printing out the documents that used to get from a travel agent, and I’m trying to educate them in new ways. But again, it’s generations whether it’s young or old, we see travel differently than we used to.

So it’s a case of like, no matter what our customer or client may be, we need to make sure that they’re fully briefed on how things work now, it’s a very good point. And I appreciate that massively.

Another question for you, Declan. What other the ways is this upcoming summer, in your own opinion, and what you’re seeing again, what do you feel is different from previous summers when it comes to travel? What we’ve seen that’s different?

Declan McDermott

0:14:38 – 0:16:38

Well, again, if we return to our old friend COVID-19 because you can’t really have a conversation this summer. Yeah, concerning this without it. There’s been a relative return to normalcy or normality in the post pandemic travel environment. So many countries are still maintaining some level of travel restrictions and you know, some more than others. So you might find that there’s a ban on entry for certain people, or there’s additional travel requirements, there’s still additional protocols which travellers will have to follow when they’re arriving in their destinations, wherever that destination may be. O

bviously, there’s been a marked decrease from the volume of restrictions and requirements placed on travellers. And this is largely leading to return in the opening of travel gateways blocked over the past two years. So it’s making the process more streamlined and simpler, and people are more used to it. I think that was well.

Another thing probably to talk about is vaccine requirements. So many destinations still require evidence and proof of a full vaccination status in order to enter these requirements, among many of the other COVID 19 related rules remain in state, but they remain in a state of flux almost. So we’ll find that if there’s been a spike somewhere, then some countries then start to implement restrictions that weren’t there two weeks ago. But generally, as that spike comes down, then those restrictions then it’s almost like a loosening and tightening of those restrictions in response to what’s happening in certain countries. And as well, you know, mask mandates and social distancing might be different in some countries to others.

All of this stuff really wasn’t around pre pandemic. And so, fortunately, these changes are easily met on the fly, you know, particularly if people are carrying masks, or there might be like a mandated or cultural expectation to wear them. But yeah, generally, that’s what we’re seeing in the COVID space. And I don’t know whether you wanted to touch on any risks?

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:16:39 – 0:21:52

Yeah, for sure, Dec, thank you. Yeah, you touched on it earlier in terms of what myself and my team do across the globe. And usually, with the command center side of things, you see things from a different strategic and analytical point of view than I do. But obviously, we work as a team together. And I see the other side of things, and something that we’re seeing a lot from last year, looking at the data and the statistics from the business travellers.

From a cultural perspective, there’s been a big movement in the LGTBI plus community. However, not all countries are going to be progressing at the same time and the same pace, we’ve seen this quite a lot, especially in Middle East and that. Europe’s fine, your support is a little bit more liberal. Compared to other parts of the world, it’s deemed as a liberal region. However, there may be some places that are not quite there yet. So if we were to say, public displays of affection could be seen as inappropriate.

Moving on from that, even if push it a little bit further, certain apps on your phone that may be associated to the LGTBI community could be perceived as wrong or incorrect. So we need to be a little bit aware of where we’re going and what that is, and what their thoughts on what their processes are. As we move forward with the technology. And you’ve got all these apps like your Tinder, and your dating apps, those kind of things, you’ve got to just make sure that where you’re traveling to, you need to understand what people think of them in that country. Is it legal? Is it illegal? Is it frowned upon? Those type of things.

Even though Europe in a region, generally is classed as very liberal, compared to a lot of places across the globe, especially the Middle East, it doesn’t mean we’re there yet in every place. So just to make sure that we’re educated about where we’re going. Also, for risk points of view. So what I was seeing last year was solo travellers, both male and female, people are starting to think this is female, it’s like – oh, female traveller –  it’s not the same anymore. Both male and female, both needs to keep themselves safe. We definitely see an uplifting statistically wise is that it’s backed up with the data.

We see an uplift in, especially during the summer months across Europe, more sexual assaults, that type of related incident where solo travellers could be island hopping in Greek islands, or should we say there’s the party on Ibiza, we see a little bit of the fraud, more fraud where somebody’s hide a bike. That was immaculate when they took it and then they’re saying there was a scratch on it. And we’re seeing fraud situation, or these type of things.

The influx of people that travel to Europe during the summer months, it literally is four or five times fold what they normally see. So the opportunity is there to make them money on the fraud side of things. Regarding the crime, let’s be honest, low level crime will be everywhere. It always is. But like I’ve just mentioned, when you see the influx of travel, which is five times what it would be in the winter seasons, the pickpocketers, the ticket scammers, it’s increased massively during the summer months, because they see the tourists as the opportunists. So you’re Barcelonas, Madrids, Milan, Rome. These are the tourist places for it. I’ve been myself, I’ve been caught out twice and I’m a security expert. It happens to all of us.

It’s all predominantly due to the influx of tourists. You’re literally maximizing their potential. If you go to certain places that should we say, I’m going to take Rome for this example. So we’re going to say you’ve got Trevi Fountain, you’ve got the Vatican, these kinds of places here that tourists from across the world are going to be visiting. Then you’re going to probably likely see people that are going to influx that area because they know the tourists are there. So it’s that extra special level of, okay, if you’re going to go there to see something specific, that you’re gonna likely see, there’s going to be criminals that are opportunists waiting because they know the tourists to go in there. So there’s more opportunities presented to the effect.

I touched a little bit earlier about the Greek islands, something I saw a lot last year was seeing a bit more use of date rape drugs, again, male or female is irrelevant. If you’re traveling solo away, even in a party group of people, we’re seeing a little bit more of that going on. As we go along in the next few years. 10 years ago, this was very, very minimal. Now we’re starting to see it grow. So it’s something to be very aware of, if you’re a businesswoman, and you’re in a hotel on your own, and it could be a five star hotel, you feel is a good chain, you know that you use them regularly across the world, it does not mean that you are exempt from this, because they will know that you are – that solo travellers that are potentially business travellers, and that they will potentially target that arena. The criminals know that probably between April to September is probably their prime time for crime. So you get to see an influx just because of that, you just need to be extra savvy, extra aware.

A lot of people keep money – I’ve said this all along, keep money upon your person, rather than a backpack. You know, those type of things. A lot of people don’t carry the backpacks on the front. It’s very strange, Declan because a lot of people laugh, because it’s a fashion thing, but honestly have a good laugh and really do. But if you’ve got your back back on the front of you, it’s less likely someone’s going to open the zip in front of you. But when you’re in a crowd on a busy tube or an underground, they can so easily do it. It’s just thinking about the little things that we can do to potentially stop the opportunists getting to us. Does that make sense?

Declan McDermott

0:21:53 – 0:22:15

Yeah, I think ever since I came into working in travel assistance, it’s something that probably when I was younger, I was much more flippant of. And I didn’t want to be seen as walking around with my backpack on my front. But now definitely as an adult, I don’t want any of my stuff going missing, thank you. I want everything I went with at the end of my trip.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:22:15 – 0:23:26

When you’re younger it’s like, oh, no, the fashion overrules it. But you could keep like a coat and things that are low value in the backpack. But I don’t know, you can put your bum bag on or you can put like it over the chest purse for your money and your passport and things like that. So just thinking about easy access to other people and things like that. T

hese people who are career criminals effectively wait to these summer months because they’ve got such a broad array of people to be opportunists to all these tourists that they’ve got rich pickins, effectively. So you need to minimize it the best you can. So put your low value stuff on the back, if you don’t want to be seen to be unfashionable.

If we’re looking at a money belt, or a bum bag or something like a cross bag over your chest, put your expensive stuff in there, you know, it’s just thinking about things to minimize the risk, because there is a risk and it goes up definitely for sure during the summer months in Europe, because they’re expecting people to flow to Europe. And it happens whether it’s Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, all of this or the coastal kind of places inundated with travellers, they may live to the rest of the year somewhere else. But then three or four months, they’re going to come there because it’s rich pickings. And that’s how they see it.

Declan McDermott

0:23:26 – 0:26:06

This interesting as well, touching on everybody traveling to these European destinations over summer, whether it’s going to be corporate travellers, which isn’t whether it’s going to be leisure travellers, another thing to really consider is the state of infrastructure in the northern hemisphere. But you know, specifically in these European destinations, the normal summer strain that we would have seen previously is going to be further strain. And that’s on the public health systems, on the transport systems.

For example, all of our customers, UK customers or Australian customers, you know, they will need to be aware of the reciprocal health agreements that we have in these different countries. And they apply throughout the world, but especially during Europe this summer, I know that we’re touching on COVID again, but the impact that COVID has had on nursing levels, that strain is already there for the citizens or the residents of those countries, once all of the travellers start coming in, it’s going to be a further strain on that. So people need to be better prepared for that than really ever before.

You know, they need to be checking on government websites, checking COVID status. People are traveling lighter these days. And that’s obviously due to rising costs in airlines. But there’s lots of different things that you can do in order to prepare a bit better for things like the strain on public services.

I think another thing to consider as well is a highly publicized area, but it’s the sustainability and environmental impacts on travel. And businesses are changing their policies with regards to that stuff. So whilst the movements been taken hold for quite a while in the leisure travel sector, business travellers and organisations are increasingly expected to meet at least a minimum obligation to offset their carbon emissions. So ensuring that their travel was efficient, it’s environmentally sound, ethical, in this conduct these types of things. So this could result in the same amount of travel.

But businesses expecting their employees to travel in different ways. So if I trained to offset their carbon footprint, for example, this in turn has the potential to reduce the strain on some services such as airports, but in turn, increase the strain on the train system, for example. So what we see and I think probably mentioned earlier, is there’s a constant toing and froing between these travel services, because the minute that a group of people stop using one service less, it ultimately locks on to another. And so that leaves our travellers, whichever one they have decided to go by, it leaves them at a risk.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:26:07 – 0:27:13

Now I fully agree that there’s a couple things that you’ve mentioned there that I’d like to touch on was, and this is only pure if you the UK, I’m not really sure how it’s working abroad, but we can certainly find that out. And we can dig into that. But what we’re seeing currently the UK is, even though we’re post COVID, we’re getting back on track. We’re seeing NHS strikes.

So you mentioned about the hospitals, etc. We’re seeing train strike, seeing infrastructure, all of it is like really being tested right now is the way I’d say, it’s all being pulled to the limit. Say 10 years ago, you traveled to the UK, and you use the train and you went to a hotel, and you had an injury, you go see the NHS, you go to hotel that is very different picture nowadays, isn’t it, because of all the different aspects, I don’t know how it’s gonna look in the future, we can’t say that. But that’s just the UK, we don’t know what it’s gonna like for the rest of Europe.

But that’s only because we live when we work in Europe, we work in London, work in the UK. But we’re seeing train strikes and the impact of that. We’re seeing nurses and doctors strike it on the NHS, ambulance, paramedics, we’re seeing the impact of that. So what do you think about that?

Declan McDermott

0:27:13 – 0:28:04

I think if you look in France, we have strikes there, across America, public services that strikes across the globe, I would say at the moment, whether it’s impacted by COVID, or or not, I don’t know. But we see it all the time. And with our riskline, and travel assist updates that we get constantly. So many of those are travel disruptions due to protest strikes. And this is why pre planning about the place that you’re going to, even if historically, that place has been – air quote – is going to safe place to travel to. It’s not the same environment that we’re traveling in these days. And, and that’s why companies like ours are so important that we can advise our customers in the best way that we can plan for all of these risks as best we can. It’s integral that that you plan. Plan, plan, plan.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:28:05 – 0:29:03

I agree Declan, like plan, plan, plan, do your research, look at the entry requirements. Look at what the current COVID is, look at any vaccinations, look at currency, or taxi services, any strikes coming up any political situations that may impact travel, all these things that we’ve never even thought of years ago are now massively impacting travel. So we’re to make sure that we’re educating our customers or our clients in the best way that we can that if you’re going to travel that you could see this. And then even once they’re there, they are obviously overseas, and they are potentially stuck in it, how we can help them the best we can. And that’s why we’ve got such a great team, great tools, great assets, great people and great communication. And that’s why it works. So well. So thank you very much, Declan. Just one more thing. Any final thoughts on how you think this summer travel is gonna be impacting business travellers this year? What are your final, personal thoughts?

Declan McDermott

0:29:03 – 0:29:38

Well, I think all you can do for the things that we’ve spoken about is to mitigate that risk as much as possible is to you know, if you if you have a service like ours, and you’re able to get that pre travel advice, whether that’s over the phone, whether that’s via the app, as we’ve just mentioned, plan, plan plan book early for things, if especially if, you know, like we said before, that you’re going to need to get somewhere within a specific period of time. And to stay informed really, you know, stay informed about what’s going on in that region that you’re traveling to, in whatever way that you can.

Kate Fitzpatrick

0:29:38 – 0:31:40

One thing to add to this is one thing that I’m seeing from the senior director level is we see a lot more corporate level companies asking for advice and asking for our services. And that’s because they are now realizing, post COVID that there is some responsibility and we need to look at this a little bit deeper on our services, exactly what that is offering in its entirety. So I think it’s actually really fascinating this conversation which shows pre travel during the travel, post travel, education, the location with our tracking system, the riskline with our information and intelligence. It all works really well together.

And we are seeing an increase from post COVID with regards to corporate clients, and people generally making inquiries about looking at this because they’ve never used it before. And they’ve never seen the value of it. And we’re now starting to see so many people inquiring and seeing, okay, we need this for our company, because it’s such a thorough process, that it’s something that they’ve maybe before COVID, they never really thought of this deeply. And now, because of COVID. It’s made people think differently, and it’s massively impacted. So we’re seeing a lot of changes in this industry in a good way now. Declan, thank you ever so much for your time. I really do appreciate it’s been a great chat about the impact of leisure and holiday travel.

Are you looking for the best travel podcast to inspire your upcoming adventures while also helping you travel smarter? Listen to navigate the travel podcast that enhances how you explore the world found on our world travel Travel assist hub. In each episode, while travel protection hosts speaking with travel industry experts, or experienced everyday travellers to bring you thought provoking travel insights, experiences and advice, helping empower you to travel the world confidently.

Despite the WHO’s recent announcement of the pandemic no longer being a global emergency, Covid-19 continues to impact travel. Especially as we head into the first busy summer travel season in years. Join Regional Security Director, Kate Fitzpatrick, and Operations Manager, Declan McDermott, as they discuss the complexities of summer travel in 2023 – both for leisure and business travellers alike.

They explore the challenges of availability and demand discrepancies, discuss the best timing for booking trips, and share how technology can support informed travel decisions. Additionally, they give valuable insights into the top scams to watch out for during this busy season.

Whether you’re on a business trip or holiday, tune in to this episode for expert advice on navigating the summer travel landscape with confidence.

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To learn more about our expert team of travel, medical and security risk professionals and the Travel Risk Management Tools they use to keep travellers safe 24/7, contact us today via the form below.

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