The world of business travel has radically changed, but not out of recognition, since the awful events of 11 September.
Many business people have changed their travel plans, cancelling trips which would have been considered vital only a few months ago. Undoubtedly foreign travel would have been reined in without the atrocities, but these events have had the effect of escalating the withdrawal.
The relaunch of the Concorde service will be a great test of the travelling business world’s desire to get on a plane for transatlantic meetings.
But now that the initial panic is over – though this could very easily change with the threat of anthrax and further terrorist action – where can you go to find information about particular areas?
The Foreign Office has long been a very useful source of information on the world’s trouble spots and now it is possible to access advice online.
The site, at www.fco.gov.uk, is very well designed, and finding relevant information about travelling abroad is very easy.
There are general comments about the terrorist attacks and subsequent actions by the coalition forces, and also lists of those countries that the FCO advises against visiting. If the country you are visiting is not on the general list, you can search for it and see how safe, or otherwise, it currently is.
There is also good general advice on what to do in an emergency, with the best tip being ‘know before you go’.
The site has a good authoritative feel to it, which you would expect from such a venerable institution. For business-related risks, it is certainly worth looking at Control Risks’ site, www.crg.com.
Although the site doesn’t give everything away – it is a commercial operation after all – it deals with a number of issues and concerns through a series of briefings and FAQs.
Though not as detailed as the Foreign Office, the advice given is very specifically aimed at the business community.
If you or your colleagues travel widely, it may be worth subscribing to its country risk forecast. This is a site that achieves the dual role of information provider and sales tool.
A good site for travel updates can be found at www.travel-news.org. The site aims to keep you up-to-date on travel news, whether it’s striking rail workers or airport closures. But it also has tips and general advice on travelling, though not as detailed as the Foreign Office or Controlled Risks. However, it does combine business with pleasure by offering a number of bargain holidays and travel suggestions.
Lonely Planet’s site, www.lonelyplanet.com, also has a very good news service. Called ‘The Scoop’, there are daily updates from around the world – these are more aimed at the independent traveller rather than the business community.
There are the usual country profiles here as well, plus plenty of travel tips and other helpful information.
The site has been through several redesigns and continues to get better.
OUR PICK OF THE TRAVEL WEBSITES: HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY
A very clear, informative site for the venerable Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Vital site if you’re after consulate details.
Control Risks’ site combines helpful advice for doing business abroad with a subtle sales pitch. Worth looking at if you travel frequently.
Good site for up-to-date travel news, though the countless adverts for bargain basement flights and hotels can get in the way.
Another redesign ensures continuing improvements to one of the best travel websites. Plenty of post-11 September news and info.
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