Tightened borders means the traditional pre-arrival Area Orientation benefit has become more costly and more challenging to provide relocating employees.
Nothing can seem more daunting to employees and their families than accepting a move to a new country. The experience becomes even more stressful if an informational visit to the destination is not possible before accepting the assignment, or arriving for the assignment.
There are limited flights between countries now merely due to flight bans. These limitations will continue even after borders open as the airline industry rebuilds. Countries are also limiting the number of daily arrivals to accommodate health precautions and guarantee appropriate quarantine facilities.
Lengthened Travel Timelines
Overall, as of September, the year over year change of weekly flight frequency was down by almost 50% globally. In international flight hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong, flight reductions were 94% and 89%, respectively. With fewer flights available, it can be more difficult to get to the destination and back.
Arriving in Asia takes longer now due to quarantine requirements. While “Green Lanes” “Travel Bubbles” and “Fast Track” programs are appearing, the typical quarantine upon arrival is 14 days and if also required upon return, 24 days can be spend in isolation.
A recent aviation report estimated that ticket prices for international flights originating in the US could increase by up to 27% over 2019 rates and predicts that may well continue for several years.
In addition to flight costs, there are new expense categories, including COVID-19 testing and quarantine costs. Quarantine prices vary by location, sometimes even within the same country. They remain an item that is subject to change, but in Singapore, costs are SGD 2,000 per person for a 14-day quarantine while in Australia, costs can range between AUD 3,000 – 5,000 for an individual traveler.
Pr-e-Arrival Area Orientation Program
The ePre-Arrival Area Orientation program removes the need for the assignee and family to be in-country. It can be provided as benefit that introduces the new location before the first visit or the final move. An alternative to the traditional accompanied, “Look-See” / “Pre-Arrival” / Familiarization Trip” this program is delivered through email and chat, video conferencing mediums and our destination mobile App.
The program can be used as a cost-reduction tool by negating the travel and accommodation costs of a traditional pre-arrival Area Orientation. Costs for temporary accommodations upon arrival may also be reduced due to an existing knowledge about the new location’s housing and neighborhoods. For relocation benefit tiers that would not previously have qualified for a pre-arrival trip, the ePre-Arrival Area Orientation Program price-point makes offering support far more accessible.
All programs will be customized based on assignee needs in the destination, and for assignee preferences in terms of the platforms used to provide the program.
We are pleased to have the program up and available now in all our 17 country locations.