Case study: keeping travellers safe

Expedia’s business travel arm Egencia has released a video case study revealing how it helps client Informa keep track of employees during major incidents, such as the terrorist attack on London Bridge in June. We had an opportunity to talk with Egencia COO Mark Hollyhead to find out more about the TMC’s duty of care offering

How does Egencia keep track of its clients’ travellers – especially a company as big as Informa?
Because our customers use the same Egencia platform wherever they are in the world, travel managers from large multi-national companies can see in a glance where travellers from any of their countries are located at any time. Displayed in a map, travellers’ itinerary data is used to show their location. This data is always up-to-date as it is updated within five to ten minutes after a booking is changed. Egencia’s platform also facilitates comprehensive traveller reporting. A traveller’s information is also available in list format and can be instantly accessed.

What is the process once the client becomes aware of an incident where travellers are located?
Egencia sends email alerts directly to travel managers who may have impacted travellers. From here it will depend on the given company’s internal policies and procedures. They may have contracts with organisations specialising in traveller safety and security, or have internal processes that are put into place once an incident is declared, and a traveller has been located. For those with security providers, such as International SOS or Ijet, we send relevant itinerary data to them to aid planning and crisis management.

How does technology factor into the process?
When travelling, forewarned is forearmed and that’s a major consideration for us. We want to provide travellers with the most current information to help them make informed decisions. For that reason, Egencia provides daily alerts to travel managers, flagging any disruptive events. Additionally, special alerts are sent in case of significant events including a list of impacted travellers, if any. Egencia will notify impacted travellers directly, with the permission of travel managers.

The integrity of the data is also very important. The more travellers booking in our platform, the better the data is on their location. We build our technology to make it easy for business travellers for all of their travel needs. When there is an incident, travel managers have confidence that all bookings made in the Egencia platform are up to date.

Our product content is responsively designed and will adapt to all mobile or desktop devices. On the occasions when travel managers are outside of core working hours they can therefore quickly react from their phone or tablet. Traveller risk management is of continual interest to us and in turn we dedicate product and technology resources that bring continual improvement and additional capabilities to the market.

How can companies ensure their employees are taken care of if they’re near a major incident?
It’s extremely important to put a process into place for prevention and planning. Egencia builds its traveller risk management programme on three pillars: prevention, incident management and partnerships. We help companies by letting them know the events that may put their travellers at risk. We let travellers know if there are relevant incidents to be aware of when booking or prior to their travel date. Locating the traveller is key to getting them to safety. Once located, this information needs to be quickly put into the hands of the experts charged with bringing them to safety – that’s where partnerships play a vital role.

Watch the Informa case study video here

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