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American Express launches Covid-19 data travel hub

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) introduces Travel Vitals, with a single source of information for trips.

The platform aggregates data from hundreds of sources, allowing users to search travel guidelines by destination, airline, airport, hotel chain, train operator and ground transportation provider. The know-before-you-go tool shows restrictions for specific locations. It also identifies Covid-19 infection rate spikes and hot spots.

The journey assistant is free and available to all managers, management companies and travelers. The platform powers itinerary-specific information in digital channels. This includes the Amex GBT mobile app, chat and online booking tools.

Counselors who answer calls and messages around the world have full access and contribute in real time to the refinement of local information.

“Trip information is going to be central to building trust and confidence. We have to quickly aggregate relevant data in a world in which guidance changes daily. It’s dynamic, and we’re updating it daily,” Mark McSpadden, GBT’s Vice President of Product Strategy and Experience, says.

“We can only be as up to date as the information available. We have to manage every trip as if we were planning an event. Door-to-door management has long been an aspiration for our industry. But that isn’t enough in these circumstances. The role of the TMC now begins as soon as the need to travel is first identified. And it ends long after the traveler has returned home”, McSpadden adds.

Online Travel Vitals

For managers, Travel Vitals is integrated into the trip audit process and can trigger alerts when journeys are booked to high-risk destinations. Reporting capabilities monitor future bookings, helping drive policy compliance when hotel stays or ground options are not booked alongside air travel. Reports track historical bookings, critical if an individual’s movements has to be retrospectively traced because of an infection rate spike in a specific location.

Travel Vitals is available to all online. Meanwhile, a mobile-first strategy is in the works.

“We want this content to be easy for travelers to access while they’re on the move. To chat with a counselor on the mobile app, use messaging like Apple Business Chat, or receive notifications from the manager while on a trip, all helps travelers feel confident and connected,” McSpadden explains.

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