The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were Games like no other. The additional layers of complexity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic presented a completely new set of challenges and required Travel Places to re-think ‘business as usual’ and adapt to the ever-changing situation.
Having been successful in the 2018 tender process for the British Olympic & British Paralympic Association, we were tasked with all travel requirements for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tokyo, 2020. This included all athletes, coaches, officials and key stakeholders from the British Olympic & British Paralympic Association, in addition to the media and production crew from Discovery, BBC, Getty Images and Whisper Films.
Concerns were raised about the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on athletes and visitors to the Olympic Games and on the 24th March 2020, it was confirmed that the Olympics and Paralympics would be rescheduled to the following year. Having already been working with the client and suppliers for nearly two years on the original deadline, we had to react instantly to minimise the disruption caused by the sudden change.
Furthermore, when the rescheduled Games eventually took place, we had to deal with the other attributes a global pandemic brings, effectively managing travel for over 1000 personnel whilst ensuring there was the correct social distancing and Covid ‘bubbles’ in place.