In the aftermath of the worst terrorist activity to strike the French capital in 70 years, hundreds of business travel managers worldwide activated “duty of care disaster plans,” locating travellers, assuring they were safe, and providing assistance for those who needed to be evacuated or moved. According to Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, the same programmes will allow for a more careful analysis of the situation, eliminating mass cancelations of trips to France.
“Sadly, we’ve been through this before in Paris, as well as Mumbai and other places. Most business travel managers have an emergency contingency plan they can activate right away,” said Greeley. “A certain percentage of companies will automatically cancel trips to a city in crisis and evacuate their travellers quickly. Others will evaluate the impact of the crisis and act accordingly after ascertaining the safety of their travellers. Some companies are requiring senior level management approval to travel into a current crisis area, while others are leaving the issue to traveller discretion.”
Greeley Koch is opening ACTE’s Global Travel Conference in Montreal this week. “There is a natural heaviness as I approach this conference,” said Greeley. “The ties between Montreal and France span centuries and ACTE just held one of its global travel conferences in Paris three weeks ago. We will exchange condolences and solidarity. And we have to learn from this. We have to look to the future. And make the future safe for travellers and all.”