In the top example, 240 travelers from 14 different RoomIt by CWT clients were in Harbin, China when there was a major hotel fire. The fire ended up killing 19 people and injuring 23 more. Not only that, but the fire took place the day before a marathon, which attracted 30,000 participants and tens of thousands of additional spectators.
Unfortunately, 90% of the 240 travelers did not book through RoomIt, meaning 216 travelers could not be tracked or located during this devastating event. Responding to this incident and helping travelers remain safe is hard enough to do from abroad, assisting them on a high traffic day is even more difficult, but things get exponentially harder when travelers book out of channel. You either have to do a lot of guess work, or you won’t even know if travelers are in the impacted area at all.
There is never a way to guarantee safety for your travelers, so the best thing you can do is to proactively scrutinize as many aspects of safety as possible and to do as much as possible to improve your communications. Security trainings, intranet posts, booking tool posts, emails, blogs, forums, lunch-and-learns, travel fairs, and automated messaging tools are all great ways to pass along safety measures.
Lastly, a safety measure that should factor prominently in your messaging is to book in compliant channels. A request to book “preferred hotels” will not be as impactful as an explanation that booking out of channel (where preferred suppliers are preferenced) can put them in greater danger.