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Hygiene Tips to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus During Travel

Continue to Use Caution Throughout Global Travel

The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has gained international attention as it spreads throughout the globe. Many travelers have grown concerned with the spread of the virus, which has prompted the Canadian government to issue travel advisories for countries such as China, Japan, Iran, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea.

While the likelihood of contracting the virus outside of the previously mentioned countries is low, travelers should use caution when heading out on cruises, beach vacations, and backpacking excursions.

Certain Destinations Should Be Avoided During Travel

Travelers should take government-issued travel advisories seriously and avoid all essential travel to the previously listed countries, as well as Southeast Asia. Traveling to a country that has been issued such an advisory could potentially void your travel insurance completely, leaving you on the hook for any medical expenses you might incur during your trip.

COVID-19 is said to have originated in Wuhan, China, and spread to neighboring countries. It has now infected over 96,000 people globally. Travelers need to do their own research if they plan on traveling and monitor the situation prior to leaving.

While global travel outside of Southeast Asia is considered safe, these basic tips can help prevent you from getting sick during your trip. These hygiene tips are great for daily use as well and can help quell fears of the virus spreading.

5 Simple Coronavirus Tips to Help You Stay Safe During Travel

Do avoid people who are sick, and if you are sick, stay home and avoid large gatherings of people at concerts or sporting events.

  1. If you are traveling to a country with a health advisory, avoid large groups as much as possible. Wearing a face mask could be of benefit to you as well if you are in a large group.
  2. Do wash your hands after visiting a restroom. The use of hand sanitizer can be of great benefit to the public’s health, especially in public places such as transit hubs and shopping malls.
  3. Please do speak with your doctor before traveling abroad. Ensure that you have all your updated vaccinations and are in relatively good health before your trip.
  4. If you need to cough, do so into your sleeve and cover your face. Discard any tissues you have used immediately.
  5. Most importantly, if you are sick before your trip, stay home. Cancel your travel plans and reschedule.

Take The Next Step and Purchase CAP™

CAP is a travel assistance plan offering specialized travel medical benefits in the event you experience a medical mishap during your trip. This could include travel benefits that speak to the needs of travelers who experience a pandemic during travel.

Customers traveling in areas directly impacted by COVID-19 that purchased CAP prior to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a global health emergency, would be eligible for assistance, up to and including evacuation for no additional costs.

Customers that purchase CAP for travel destinations not previously impacted by the Coronavirus, but became impacted during a qualifying period of travel (like suddenly being quarantined on a cruise ship) would be eligible for assistance, up to and including evacuation for no additional costs, once the customer(s) is cleared from quarantined status.

Take advantage of CAP travel assistance plans and learn how you can save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in the event you experience a medical emergency during travel.

The Changing World of Compulsory Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance Becoming Compulsory for International Travel

Foreign governments have begun to attempt to reduce the hefty medical bills that are often left behind by tourists who experience a medical emergency while visiting. For those who can’t pay these medical bills, it places a significant strain on foreign medical systems with losses that exceed millions of dollars.

A tourist that experiences a traumatic injury and requires foreign hospital services will often leave bills unpaid, as they are so large that they have no way of paying them. As a result, there is a growing list of countries that now require foreign travelers to prove that they have travel insurance to avoid such financial burdens on their medical system.

The Countries that Already Require Compulsory Travel Insurance

The entry requirements that come along with visiting certain countries vary greatly and can hinge on such factors as your age, how long you plan to stay, and why you are visiting. Whether you are traveling for business, pleasure, or studying, you might require a visa to enter, and thus require medical insurance that is capable of addressing a minimum dollar amount of coverage. Certain travelers that require a visa could also trigger other requirements that include mandatory travel insurance along with a long list of fees and paperwork.

Cuba, for instance, requires all visitors to have health insurance. Commonly, a $25 fee is included in the price of your plane ticket, and travelers will not be able to enter the island nation without coverage. In 2018, Ecuador made it mandatory that all travelers visiting the country carry travel medical insurance.

Expect Many More Countries to Follow Suit with Compulsory Travel Insurance

Japan has long been considering making travel insurance a necessary purchase for tourists. Additionally, Thailand has also juggled with the idea of compulsory travel medical insurance and wants to implement it within the next five years.

Travelers are encouraged to research the country they are visiting well before their trip. Being educated on entry requirements can save travelers from endless headaches while going through customs, along with avoiding potential fines and penalties.

Go Beyond Traditional Travel Insurance with CAP™

As travel insurance plays an important role for many, it often comes with exemptions that could leave tourists with a massive bill. Travelers that require the services of an air ambulance might be left to cover the entire bill, as traditional travel insurance usually does not cover such costs.

CAP is a travel assistance plan offering specialized travel security benefits if you experience a medical emergency during your trip. Travel benefits offered by CAP reduce the dependencies on local medical resources and are available for NOTHING extra! There are no claim forms, no subrogation, no deductibles, or necessary reimbursement required.

Take advantage of CAP travel assistance plans and learn how you can save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in the event you experience a medical emergency during travel that requires medical evacuation and repatriation.

The Travel Industry’s Novel Challenge with Maintaining Public Trust

Promoting Lifetime Consumer Loyalty During COVID-19

The travel industry has taken a massive hit during this global pandemic. COVID-19 has sent the travel industry to a screeching halt with financial losses that could see many major players left behind.

As for the bigger picture, global travel will forever be changed, as vacationers and corporate travelers alike could become hesitant to visit certain parts of the world, opting for video calls instead of face-to-face interactions. In the next five to ten years, international travel could potentially be viewed as a risk that outweighs its rewards.

When the dust settles, and the short-term financial pain that has been caused by the novel coronavirus subsides, how will airlines, travel management companies, and credit card issuers bring back the loyal customers they once had and continue where they left off?

One Chance to Develop Trust with Your Consumer

The trust that has been developed between a consumer and provider will ultimately be what brings the hesitant traveler back to your brand. Lifetime consumer value is now a crucial part of bouncing back after COVID-19, and those that invest in their consumers will be able to recover once the pandemic is over.

In today’s world, public trust in your company can vanish in an instant. Every misstep is broadcast on social media; horror stories of passengers getting bumped out of their seats and unexpected credit card charges are blasted online for thousands to see. Word of mouth travels quickly, and most companies have one chance to develop trust with a consumer. People don’t forget negative and positive interactions, especially in an industry with endless options and price comparison tools.

How you treat your customer has never been more important, and the genuine care that is put into these interactions can promote consumer loyalty, reduce price sensitivity, and provide positive word of mouth that will ultimately translate into long-term consumer value.

Your company must focus on people, not the product. Being sincere with customers will ultimately be the defining factor in developing a public trust that can ensure a lifetime relationship between a consumer and provider.

Genuine Communication is Key

Honesty and transparency will go a long way during this pandemic. No company is going to be completely perfect in this category, but communication is the first step to building lifetime relationships.

The company that can acknowledge and respond to the frustrations of customers is a long-term play that can have a big payoff when the industry resumes to some form of normalcy. The company that is non-responsive to the challenges their consumers are facing are likely not to receive forgiveness, and those that focus on the short-term financial picture will suffer.

The consumer that receives regular communication from a company that is genuine and honest is likely to forgive and come back when they are ready to travel again. Be sincere in your interactions, feel sympathetic to their challenges, and take this as an opportunity to go above and beyond your customer service.

Soaring Consumer Expectations

Expectations will be higher than ever when the pandemic is over. Every competitor in the industry will be scrambling to offer discounts in an effort to drawback those who are willing to travel. The consumer that has had a positive experience with your company and felt like they were cared about and believed they were treated as a person and not a number, will continue to come back to that brand.

Your regard for the consumer’s feelings and well-being is incredibly important. Every consumer reaction will shape how the public views your product and brand, and the negative responses will be quickly distributed via social media.

Develop Consumer Trust With CAP™

The travel sector must move quickly to maintain lifetime consumer trust and make consumers feel even safer in a post-pandemic world.

Travel assistance plans offered by CAP™ are the next steps beyond traditional travel insurance, providing an enhanced level of security during uncertain times. Airlines, credit card issuers, affinity groups and travel management companies now have the opportunity to speak directly to the emotions and fears of consumers and offer a product that promotes trust to an increasingly hesitant consumer base.

CAP™ offers crisis incident benefits that speak to the needs of the post COVID-19 traveler. The offering is easily integrated into the ecosystems of travel providers and includes a mobile app that comes standard with destination-based health, safety and security alerts and advisories; one-touch assistance, check-in and follow me buttons with in-app messaging; and coordinated responses where travel insurance may be limited. CAP™+MED can save a consumer tens of thousands of dollars in the event they experience a medical emergency that requires emergency air ambulance services for one low price.

Further, Core CAP™ Plans offer consumers premium travel concierge services along with comprehensive crisis incident benefits, including on-demand 24/7 access to international travel security specialists and assistance services, including evacuation for one low-cost price.

For the company that is looking to offer value and gain the public’s trust in a post-pandemic world, CAP™ can inspire confidence in an exceedingly hesitant consumer base. Learn more about how you can offer CAP™ travel assistance plans to your consumers.

Self-Isolation: How to Manage Working Remotely

Promoting Productivity with This New Reality

With the spread of COVID-19, people are finding themselves quarantined or isolated, implementing social distancing measures that limit physical interaction in both their professional and personal lives.

Many professionals are likely unaccustomed to working remotely for extended periods. Making the indefinite transition could be challenging, especially to those who live with family and are vulnerable to distractions and bad habits. They could find themselves losing focus and becoming unproductive in the long-term.

Consider these tips to help you stay productive during these unprecedented times.

Nine Tips to Help Those Who are New to Working from Home

  • Develop a Strong Routine: Make a point of getting up at the same time every morning. Set alarms to help you break up your day and take a lunch break at the same time every day. There are plenty of available alerts and scheduling tools online that can help you stay focused.
  • Get Dressed as if You Were Going to Work: Adapt elements of your routine that were part of your life before this change. That means getting dressed in your work clothes every day and preparing for the workday as you usually would. Make coffee, schedule your calls, and try to continue in your regular daily routine. Stay focused and maintain a ‘business as usual’ mantra.
  • Designate a Workspace: Find a specific spot in your home for working, either an office, den, or spare bedroom, and make that your workspace. Tell your family that when you are in this space, you are at work, and need this space just for work. Strive to make this space as distraction-free as possible.
  • Set Hours: Inform your family of your work and lunch hours. Your break time is a great time to socialize with your spouse or family, but promise yourself you will get back to work at your designated times. Stick to your hours and remain focused.
  • Get Outside: One of the benefits of working from home is being able to spend time outdoors. Go for walks, get active, and get some fresh air during break times. This will help keep you productive and refreshed when you return to your work.
  • Put Away Your Station at the End of the Day: Stick to your hours and close up your work station when you are done. Put away files, notes, and keep your laptop out of sight if possible. This will help you unwind at the end of the day and prevent your home life from always being in a state of ‘working’.
  • Keep in Contact: Make a point of interacting with people that you normally would in your everyday office life, even if they aren’t directly on your team. Send emails, Skype, or video conference with coworkers to socialize.
  • Stay Active: Many yoga studios and gyms have been sharing at-home workouts on their social feeds, consider taking advantage of this. Use your off-hours and schedule in regular exercise to help you stay focused while working remotely.
  • Consider Implementing Background Noise: Working at home in complete silence might not be for everyone. Set up playlists of music, turn on the radio, and add some background noise to your workplace to promote productive behaviors. Avoid consuming too much of the daily news during work hours, and stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Leverage CAP™ Advantage to Help Your Workforce Stay Productive

For businesses that suddenly have a large base of remote employees, the Coronavirus pandemic offers a new set of challenges that have not been seen before. CAP™ Advantage provides the tools necessary to ensure your workforce remains productive, anywhere in the world.

CAP™ Advantage includes remote check-in options that allow any employee to inform their employer of their status, even if they are isolated across the world. This offering is especially helpful in times of widespread global travel restrictions, ensuring the safety, wellbeing, and productivity of your staff.  It also provides employers vital optics into employee whereabouts via inter-active dashboards with the added benefit of mass communications capabilities and geofence functionality to assist in meeting duty of care obligations.

Give your remote team the tools they need to stay connected and secure, even during times of a global pandemic. Visit our website to learn more about the offerings of CAP™ Advantage, which also include specialized travel tracking benefits that speak to the needs of global travelers and professionals.

5 Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce

  1. Create and Manage Expectations
    Draft realistic expectations and help your team understand what their tasks are, how to prioritize, and action them for everyone’s success
  2. Utilize Technology
    Keep your team connected with tools that enhance communication and are best suited for collaboration
  3. Ensure Daily Check-ins
    Utilize an app that has a remote check-in, like CAP™ Advantage’s one-touch check-in feature, so all remote staff can be accounted for when a face-to-face video call is not always feasible
  4. Provide Adequate Resources
    Make sure that all staff have high-speed internet connections, mobile devices, software, laptops, and any other tools required to perform their tasks
  5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
    One of the challenges that come with working remotely from home, given that most staff are used to being in an office with other employees, is a sense of loneliness that can set in, so be sure to communicate regularly

 

If you’d like to learn more about deploying the CAP™ Advantage Mobile App to support the management of a remote workforce, please contact us at [email protected]. You can also visit us online for more information via www.captravelassistance.com.

Where Are Your Travelers

Soon after the recent bombing incidents in NYC and NJ, I received calls from relatives and friends to ask if my family and I were safe and whether we were affected by the incident. It made me think about how important it is for companies to know where their folks are during a crisis, whether it is a natural disaster, terrorist attack or any other occurrence that might happen.

Many organizations have a large number of travelers around the globe. When something happens, senior management will want to know if any employees were affected and concerned family members may call as they cannot get in touch with their loved ones. Knowing where your people are, is key to establishing and staying in contact with them and providing advice and assistance.

Most mid-size and smaller companies do not have a way to track travelers. All employers have the same type of Duty of Care responsibilities, no matter what size. Knowing where employees are and being able to communicate with them in a crisis is an integral part of any good Travel Risk Management Program.

Taking the attitude of ‘it won’t happen to us’ or scrambling to find employee contact numbers after something has happened is no way to address risk. Business travel continues to increase, and the world is not trending well. Every organization with people traveling should take a critical look at their crisis response plans and their ability to communicate with their employees.