Travelers have to find bits and pieces of information on various online resources to develop a full pre-travel picture of the risks and requirements of the destination. Not anymore. Introducing Global Rescue’s Travel Intelligence Center
Travelers have to find bits and pieces of information on various online resources to develop the full pre-travel picture of the risks of the destination. Some web sites are reputable, such as the CDC for COVID information or U.S. Department of State for security risks. On other sites, there’s no telling if the information is reliable or kept up to date.
“We in the travel industry are so used to telling people ‘Check the U.S. Department of State’s website.’ It has been our go-to default answer for decades. But the country you’re going to might have different requirements listed on their government website,” said David Leopold, director of enterprise sales at Global Rescue.
How do travelers manage the ever-changing entry and exit requirements? Coronavirus restrictions? Or security risks, like natural disasters and civil unrest?
“We’ve seen real-life examples of websites not being updated and people relying on old information,” Leopold said. “You need to have a plan — and you need to have a plan that’s going to be up to the minute.”
[Related Reading: Do Not Travel Advisories, Explained]
Everyone — tour providers, travel agents, tourism boards, airlines, companies with business travelers and individual trip takers, to name a few — is looking for risk mitigation information to help them make that go/no go travel decision. With the new Travel Intelligence Center, Global Rescue experts tell you where to find it.
Research until Time of Travel
If you’re a business traveler, you might belong to a subscription service or benefit from a travel management company partnership to get the latest travel information. But who is ultimately responsible if travel plans go awry?
“Even if you have a contract with a travel management company, does your company have an obligation to still meet the duty of care? Yes, you can’t just absolve yourself of all responsibility,” said Jeffrey Ment, managing partner of The Ment Law Group and Global Rescue advisor. “You can try to mitigate or lessen your risk by having a contract that puts travel risk management on somebody else, but it’s still your company, your employee, your trip.”
Individual travelers, travel planners, tour operators and smaller businesses often do the research themselves, checking and double-checking travel information right up until the time of travel.
“There are so many good ways to stay informed,” said Ment, who has three decades of experience in the travel industry with crisis management, travel contracts, litigation and compliance with national and international laws. “There are travel updates from different companies, like the Travel Market Report. Open Jaw is another website with an update on travel issues occurring in Canada and the U.S. For business travelers, The Points Guy has a blog with news and stories about travel.”
Ment’s advice: Do not rely on just one website.
“You have to find multiple different sources of information to understand the current risks of travel,” Ment said. “Start with the government website, the airline website, the daily updates on travel blogs, and use all these sources in conjunction with each other.”
When there is conflicting information, find the original source. “Japan is a great example: only 10,000 tourists can enter per day. Well, are you going to be in the 10,000? What does a company do to make sure they can get their people in amongst the 10,000? What are going to be the requirements for them? What’s really the answer if there’s different things that are out there?”
If you’re looking for Japan entry requirements, Ment suggests checking the consular services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan as well as your home country government site (like the U.S. Department of State if you live in the U.S. and the U.K. Government website if you live in the U.K.).
You should also touch base with the airline to see what information they have. ANA, for example, includes information about travel to and from Japan from other countries on its website.
If you have a travel insurance provider or a travel protection membership, give them a call or email, too.
“There are countries still restrictive about who can come in, and it’s been difficult for companies to figure out. It’s getting better, and one day we won’t need guys like me, but that seems far off in the future,” Ment said.
Global Rescue Resources
We cut through all the clutter with the Travel Intelligence Center. Our in-house Intelligence Team tracks worldwide travel risk, health and safety information, all day, every day. They are continually monitoring global events and sharing information with members.
It started with our Coronavirus Intelligence Center, rolled out in the early days of the pandemic in 2020. Our in-house Intelligence Team created a free daily report with information which includes outbreak locations, outbreak data, signs and symptoms and medical advice for travelers. It was made available to the public, and updated every 24 hours with solid, reliable information.
Now that the pandemic is transitioning to an endemic, travelers are still searching for information for pre-trip planning, during trip safety information and a worry-free return home. Our new Travel Intelligence Center is the ultimate hub of health, security and weather resources to serve as a traveler’s one-stop information source. It includes:
- Daily travel alerts: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how quickly guidelines and advisories can swing in one direction one day, the other the next. Most travel risk companies charge for travel alerts; we provide them for free on social media as well as in the Travel Information Center. No other company shares this valuable information with the general public.
- Free destination report: Global Rescue creates destination reports for 215 countries and principalities worldwide, harnessing up-to-date intel on everything from entry requirements, currency and common scams to travel health and personal security advice. Travel Intelligence Center visitors can request a complementary report to help them plan travel.
- COVID-19 travel intelligence: You can click back and forth between the Coronavirus Weekly Update and the Travel Intelligence Center. A link is provided at the top of the page and in the health section, respectively. Links to health, security and weather resources: We’ve vetted web sites and compiled the top choices to help travelers research every aspect of a trip from start to finish: COVID-19 requirements, health considerations (Malaria, Ebola), security risks (civil unrest or natural disasters) as well as weather patterns and upcoming seasons.
- Universal safety advice: Our blogs provide a wealth of educational information from seasonal threats to outdoor how-tos to travel inspiration. Each travel risk area — health, security, weather and COVID — is updated with links to the most current blogs on the topic. Blogs are written by travel experts and include Global Rescue’s medical, operational and safety expertise as well as insight from our Safe Travel Partners.
- Interactive risk map: The map shows travelers in an instant what areas might pose a risk to travel. Hover over a country to assess overall risk rating related to civil unrest, terrorism, crime, diseases, scams and more
Global Rescue’s Travel Intelligence Center is available to members and nonmembers.
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