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As Covid restrictions and quarantines start to lift across the globe, travel for business – and those all-important face-to-face meetings – are becoming a reality again. But what should you expect when you’re expecting to travel?
With a dedicated Key Account Manager (KAM) you can easily navigate those niggly restrictions, cumbersome conditions, and anything in-between.
According to Bizcommunity South Africa, the top 5 business travel destinations for South Africans are the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Australia, and specific destinations within Africa.
Here are some key takeaways and updates to keep in mind:
The UK has traditionally been a favourite amongst South Africa’s outbound corporate market; in 2020 visitbritain.org reported that 14 350 seats departed from South Africa to the UK every week. This status as a top destination has not changed.
Although most Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted across the UK, each separate country; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, all have their own, specific regulations and rules that remain. It is therefore imperative that you consult with your Key Account Manager (KAM) pre-departure – as they stay abreast of new developments, changes, and requirements that might affect your travel plans.
The popular events and conferences in Europe are a great pull factor for South African travellers. This makes Europe the second most visited destination for South African business travellers.
Viva Technology, Europe’s largest tech industry showcase, takes place in Paris in June. Berlin will host Automechanika, the largest automotive industry trade show, as well as the IFA, the world’s largest consumer and home electronics conference, this September.
With such a bumper diary of upcoming events, planners and coordinators will be implementing necessary changes to prevent any further spread of Covid-19, new variants of Covid or future viruses. Expect pre-event testing, sanitising stations, and emergency procedures to follow should a new wave emerge. Having your Key Account Manager a mere call or text away allows for easy travel adjustment – including last minute cancellations or changes.
Similar to their neighbours ‘across the pond’, the United States also hosts a vast array of trade shows across its states that welcome many South Africans every year. According to ibisworld.com, the number of trade shows and conference planners in the country now stands at almost 7 500, an increase of 8.2% since 2021.
The KAM has the necessary experience in the industry and will be well-informed of these events. We also boast an extensive network of suppliers and services to accommodate our clients when attending these events in the United States, or anywhere else required.
South Africans are actively looking ‘down under’ for business opportunities, making Australia the 4th most popular country amongst SA’s corporate crowd. Investors regard Australia as an excellent place to invest because of its population growth, highly skilled workforce, strategic location, strong record of economic management and stable governance and regulatory environment; this makes Australia an ideal location for business endeavours. Australia opened its borders in March of this year and South Africans welcomed this change; regardless of the rules and regulations in place protecting citizens. Like the UK, different states within Australia have implemented their own specific rules and regulations, but your Key Account Manager will keep you informed and travel-ready.
The South African government prioritised the lifting of rules and regulations on business travellers specifically when hard lockdown was implemented. This was an important decision that allowed corporate travellers to continue doing business in the rest of the African continent. According to Bizzcommunity, travel to other African states has remained consistent over the past few years, regardless of Covid-19 rules and regulations.
They also reported that we can expect regional travel to continue to be in strong demand. Travellers should however prepare for challenges faced in different countries in terms of Covid-19 testing and treatment as a foreign traveller. Your KAM can ensure you are adequately prepared, insured and assisted throughout your travels.
One market that is showing some lag is the Asian market; Singapore, for example, makes up only a small percentage of the outbound corporate travel market from South Africa.
We look forward to the continued opening and improvement in corporate travel across the globe, and to seeing our clients venture into new countries for new opportunities and some great returns.