Wings Travel Management saw an overall 15 percent upturn in travel by its energy sector clients in 2018, particularly to Iraq and the Gulf States, as the steady rise in oil prices reignited investment in oil and gas exploration
In addition, the global specialist energy travel and logistics provider experienced a surge in business to Mozambique. Wings Travel Management established operations in Mozambique in 2017 to support energy sector clients moving into this market after the discovery of some 85 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.
However, according to Wings, the price of oil was not the only factor affecting travel trends this year. Geopolitical instability is continuing to add to the complexities of business travel and deterring companies from moving into certain markets. “Diplomatic relations and economic sanctions are constantly in a state of flux,” commented Paul East, Chief Operating Officer, UK/Europe & Americas, Wings Travel Management. “We expected to see more travel to Iran, but now that the USA has introduced sanctions, this growth has stalled. Similarly, for destinations such as Russia and Cuba, one moment sanctions are lifted, the next they are in place.”
Given the nature of the destinations that energy sector companies are sending their travelers to, safety will always be a priority. But today every destination carries potential threats, whether you are in London, Luanda or Las Vegas.
What is the role of a travel management company like Wings in helping companies manage travel risk? According to Paul East, it is all about data, particularly in challenging markets.
“In challenging markets like South America, travel risk management and data are only as strong as your weakest link and if your travel provider’s partner agency is still using Excel, then how do you manage travel risk when you need information on demand?” he asks.
London-headquartered Wings Travel Management is the only independent travel management company (TMC) to own and manage all its operations around the globe. Most other multi-national TMCs use partner agencies in markets like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
Established in 1992, Wing’s global reach spans North America, South America, UK/Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The company has wholly-owned operations in key oil and gas locations such as Aberdeen, Cape Town, Dammam, Dubai, Houston, Johannesburg, Lagos, Luanda, London, Maputo, Stavanger, and Rio de Janeiro. This means every Wings office operates off the same travel booking technology platform and centralized global database.
“Any organization that is operating in countries where travel cannot be undertaken smoothly, should be looking for a travel management company with a central database as this allows reporting and traveler tracking in real time,” explains Paul East. “At any given time, we know where our clients’ travelers are and because of our access to this on-demand, reliable data, emergency situations can be managed quickly.”
Preparation is also crucial to managing risk, but there is not one simple solution as it depends on the size of your organization, number of travelers, where they travel to. “We recommend clients use our travel risk management checklist to help them review their existing programme and evaluate areas that need enhancing,” says East.
Wings has published a White Paper ‘Travel Risk Management in a Changing World’. To request your copy or to find out more, visit www.wings.travel/wp-travel-risk-management
Wings’ Travel Risk Management Check-List
1. Make sure traveler profile information held by your company and your TMC is comprehensive and up-to-date.
2. Evaluate a list of destinations that you send travelers to regularly which could be considered ‘at risk’. Agree what level of risk is applicable to each destination
3. Check pre-trip health, travel alerts, passport and visa requirements, local laws, for each journey
4. Ensure travelers have as much information as possible and that they are knowledgeable of any potential risks that could arise
5. Ensure you have reliable traveler tracking processes in place via your TMC
6. Work closely with your travel provider to prepare a formal emergency response plan and communicate this to your employees regularly
7. Post situation review – once the emergency has been managed and your travelers have safely returned, analyze the response process and ways it could be improved
This article is paid for and produced by Wings Travel Management and does not necessarily reflect the view of offshoreenergytoday.com. No member of the editorial team took part in the creation of this advertorial.