Leading global travel risk company GOPASS Global announced a partnership with the travel arm of Australia’s online university of choice, Charles Sturt University.
Under the agreement with Charles Sturt Travel, GOPASS will provide risk assessments for university staff travelling abroad for conferences, academic research projects and other work-related trips.
Charles Sturt Manager, Travel & Expense, Paul McLeod, said many of the university workforce were keen to resume travel following the re-opening of Australia’s international borders but were struggling to get an accurate picture of the potential risks.
“By integrating GOPASS data into our own policy guidelines, including four levels of COVID-alert categories ranging from low to very high, we can now offer our people a much clearer assessment of the likely risk along with specific advice on how to ensure their trip is as safe as possible,” says McLeod.
Booking demand to accelerate from June
Charles Sturt is one of only a few universities in Australia to have a fully-fledged travel management operation. Most have a travel manager supported by an external travel agency. Pre-COVID, McLeod’s team managed as many 800 trips a year. Requests for bookings are growing, with demand for departures picking up from mid-year.
GOPASS Global CEO Mark Radford describes the new partnership as further evidence of the company’s ability to deliver value to a wide range of industry sectors with overseas travel requirements.
“Education is a significant driver of international travel, both for academics and students,” he says. “We are delighted to be partnering with Charles Sturt University, which is one of Australia’s most important learning institutions and expect this to be the start of our expansion into the world of education.”
McLeod also believes GOPASS has a lot to offer universities across Australia. He says there was “a very positive response” when he shared details of the solution with travel managers of 30-plus universities at their regular monthly meeting.
Charles Sturt Travel excited by planned full risk solution
He is also excited by GOPASS’ recently announced plan to expand its focus beyond COVID-related risks to incorporate a full risk assessment model, including social, environmental and geo-political risks. “We need to consider the full spectrum of risk, and this will be a tremendous help for us,” he says.
GOPASS has grown rapidly since its launch just over a year ago by using AI to interrogate 35 sources of global risk data in near real-time and sharing the most relevant information via simple, user-friendly reports or an interactive bio-risk map. Users, such as Charles Sturt University, can quickly learn about changes in border control rules, vaccination rates, testing and quarantine requirements, as well as a risk assessment and score for their planned flight.
Radford says GOPASS is anticipating continued strong growth from both traditional travel channels, such as corporates and TMCs, as well as new channels such as education. “We’ve just scratched the surface and the future is looking extremely bright.”