When the global COVID-19 pandemic slowed our industry to a crawl, World Travel, Inc.'s day-to-day priorities and schedule shifted. To continue providing the best possible service and solutions to our clients, we had to carefully consider the threat of the pandemic and how we could enhance traveler safety. We simultaneously worked to ensure the health of our company, our employees and retain our entire staff. 

While facing these challenges and attempting to make the most of quarantine lulls, we've had plenty of time to reflect on the lessons we've learned from a tragic and unpredictable situation. 

We learned the importance of adaptability and flexibility. Our team has always prioritized traveler safety and wellness, but when facing a novel threat like the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to be more specific. Our team worked quickly to add coronavirus-specific mapping features to our proprietary WorldWatch traveler monitoring system. These updates allow travel managers to map case numbers and anticipate itinerary delays. We also added COVID-19 destination messaging to inform travelers of changes to company travel policies. We've also offered resources to clients now overwhelmed by an influx of unused tickets left over from thousands of cancelled flights. 

Our product teams worked quickly to make these systems available to our clients. Positive feedback and consistent buy-in have reminded us of the importance of specific and timely solutions that cater to our client's specific needs.

We were reminded that during hard times, industry collaboration is crucial. Our 2020 Virtual Spring Symposium exemplified this point, fostering productive conversations during an uncertain time. Airline representatives, travel managers, security professionals, and our own team worked together to answer attendee questions and share solutions regarding travel during the pandemic. This forum helped us and our attendees manage the industry's changes and make meaningful connections even though we couldn't gather in-person. 

Finally, the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our work and existence as a team. Business travel is about human connection and fostering meaningful relationships. Our executive and accounting teams worked hard to retain 100% of our staff, taking salary cuts and creating initiatives that have allowed us to retain our employees. In addition to maintaining our high standards of service, our employees have completed over 10,000 continuing education courses to bring even greater expertise to their work for World Travel. Each of us plays an important role in managing a crisis like the pandemic.

The pandemic has caused a global tragedy almost unmatched in scale and has completely altered the global landscape. But as we've navigated this new set of challenges, we've learned and grown along the way and are ready to support our clients through the challenges we all continue to face. 

Jimmy Davidson

Written by Jimmy Davidson