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Takeaways


Sending travellers into an emerging destination should flag up duty-of-care concerns from the outset.


Bogota, Colombia


sarily good places to be”. Mozambique, he reckons, is another rising star and, again because of its rapidly-expanding oil industry, Namibia is one to watch over the next four to five years. In many countries, Bost says, inadequate supply means hotel accommodation is overly expensive and, in many cases, bills can only be settled in cash. Road and rail infrastructure is poor, and many airlines – particularly smaller domestic operators – are blacklisted on safety grounds. “Duty-of-care is now high on the agenda. When it comes to what customers want, number one is still price, but from the RFPs we are seeing, duty- of-care is now definitely number two, and that wasn’t the case even a couple of years ago.” In places, infrastructure is improving.


James Stevenson, HRG global sales direc- tor, says: “In terms of emerging markets, Kenya does seem to be one to watch. The country is investing quite heavily, particularly in airport capacity. Across the Africa region as a whole, they are looking at improving infrastructure.”


FAR-EASTERN POWERHOUSE Farther east, the HRG boss has his eye on one of the MINTs. “I think Indonesia is still pretty much one of the powerhouses in southeast Asia,” he says. In terms of travel and bid activity, Indonesia is frequently included, not just in regional bids, but in global bids as well.” The trouble in that region is China. “China is seeing its lowest growth in a decade, and driver markets like that have an effect on emerging markets,” Steven- son says. “China’s slowdown will have a real impact.”


82 BBT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016


In many countries, inadequate supply means hotel accommodation is overly expensive


Currently, his particular sphere of inter- est lies across the South Atlantic. Brazil may have faltered – although Wellington Costa, the GBTA’s regional director for the country, says lower inflation and improved economic growth should lead to stronger business travel spending this year – but Stevenson reckons there are a number of “new” emerging markets across Latin America. “Countries like Colombia, Chile and Peru, where there has been some sort of political stability, are increasingly featuring in bid activity,” he says. So what about president Mauricio


Macri’s Argentina? “Well, the elections have only just taken place, and he’s not been in power long enough to judge how his country’s economy might shape up,” says Stevenson. “Even if it all goes well, in business travel terms I think Argentina could be four or five years down the line.” So, will these Latin American companies become the new powerhouses in the next half-decade, to challenge the BRICs and the MINTs? At the very least, that should give the pundits enough time to come up with a suitable acronym, the trouble being that Colombia, Chile and Peru are rather light on initial vowels at the moment...


  country-specific risks. Travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a starting point, but it’s advisable to call on the expertise of a specialist travel risk consultancy as well.


  traveller safety and security can overwhelm health challenges. Check all health threats – and any vaccination requirements – and take external advice, then communicate the recommendations to all travellers.


  finance and human resource departments in the loop. It may be advisable, if not downright necessary, to inform your company’s insurers of the new travel plans.


  management company for surface transport and other ground arrangements. They will be more, and more quickly, aware of any specific issues, such as impending industrial disputes or adverse weather conditions.


  information on local customs and cultures. Some nationals may relish a half-hour Powerpoint presentation, whereas others may have a more relaxed approach to business negotiations.


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