The next twelve months will be vital in the rebuilding of the travel and transport industry but as new lockdowns are underway, renewed border controls in place and a greater sense of fear grips the world, it will be an unclear and problematic journey, especially for the corporate travel sector: this will bring worries to businesses across multiple sectors.
What is clear is that the industry that returns needs to better, with a greater focus on sustainability, traveller welfare and duty of care. But, not just have businesses been forced to be fitter to survive these difficult times, travellers are also more greatly aware of the needs for a healthy lifestyle.
The assurance of seeing fellow passengers wearing masks or the ability to use touchless processes are key factors, but are just part of the story. Travellers have become accustomed to long tiring days on the road (or in the air) and when business travel returns they will ultimately demand better itineraries and healthier options.
There are a huge number of touchpoints in any traveller journey that stand out as high risk – the aeroplane bathroom, hotel room light switch and television remote are well known in particular, but there are many more too such as luggage trays at security, or even products in shops.
In fact, any interaction with other human-beings will be minimised, but while handshakes will remain on hold for now, any time hands come in contact with an object someone else has touched – opening a door, signing with a pen, handling your bag in baggage claim – will no doubt all be followed with a health squeeze of hand sanitiser.
With traveller health essential in any return to travel menu, an interesting new report from money.co.uk, a credit broker for consumer credit products and online financial products comparison service, has highlighted the world’s healthiest countries and cities.
The report, based on life expectancy, the cost to be healthy, air pollution, obesity rates, safety and sunlight hours, puts Spain and Valencia top of the country and city indexes. European nations lead the way and hold 18 of the top 20 positions in the country index with Japan – in fourth – and Singapore – in ninth – the only examples from outside the region.
At a city level, Europe again leads the way with Madrid, Lisbon and Vienna following Valencia at the top of the index, but the top 20 includes more geographical variety. The Australian city of Canberra is ranked fifth, while Tel Aviv and Tokyo also make the top 10 and Adelaide, Haifa and Brisbane also appear in the top 20.