April 22, 2024

ITM launches campaign to help buyers deal with Brexit as travel resumes

ITM has launched a campaign to help travel managers navigate the complexities of travelling to and within the EU as business travel resumes.

It comes after concerns from buyer members about the challenges of conveying accurate information to travellers and bookers following Brexit.

ITM will hold a series of webinars and panel discussions on the issues in the next few months.

An ITM EU Travel Taskforce has been established with buyer members, including Alison Rogan, ITM Chair & Global Head of Travel & Expense at Barclays and Stephen Swift, Global Travel Manager, Ford Motor Company.

Also on the taskforce are representatives from immigration and visa specialist Newland Chase, legal experts at Travlaw, and tax and social security consultants from Deloitte.

“Significant challenges are now coming to light for our buyer members and their travellers regarding the correct paperwork and requirements for travel to, from and within the EU as corporates prepare for resuming business travel,” said Scott Davies, CEO, ITM.

“Whilst travel was supressed because of the pandemic, these EU regulations weren’t front of mind, but now that vaccination programmes are well-established and business travel looks set to return, it’s become a priority for buyers.

“The key issue for travel managers is making sure they understand fully the requirements for business travellers with entering EU countries, to enable them to give those travellers crystal clear information about what to expect at the border, make sure they have the right paperwork and ensure travellers don’t face disruption when entering the EU.

“This is a complex topic given so much has changed in legislation and enforcement of immigration, visa and work permit requirements since 2019. It’s not only due to Brexit but also a sharper focus on enforcement of paperwork required for short term EU business trips as well as changes to longer term assignments.”

He said there are also known challenges around who owns the transient travel piece given that global mobility teams – not travel managers – are often concerned with supporting travellers on longer term assignments.  

“In addition, smaller corporates, or those buyers who don’t manage travel full time, may not have the resources to find the answers and advise their travellers accordingly,” he added.