How to create an international business travel destination file

31 08 2006

The international business traveller has a lot of work to do before each trip. The preparation of the journey can be complicated and usually requires quite a bit of time in order to finalize visas, appointments, hotels, transportation, and tickets and connections.

I highly recommend an international travel destination file be created and maintained for the countries and business destinations that you or your organization travels to.

This should be updated each time someone visits the destination. This important accumulated business travel information will save time, money, trouble and aggravation for everyone required to travel in the future.

Notes should be written during the trip and a final executive summary presented and filed at most 5 days after your return. This is not a personal travel diary, and should be focused on providing practical useful information for the next person who is required to visit the destination on business.

The file should contain the following information and observations:

  • Is a visa required?  Contact information for the embassy or consulate, required information that must be submitted and the time required for the process from start to finish.
  • Travel agency and airlines used. Comments and observations about flights, connections, and prices.
  • Information about hotels that you have stayed in, names, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, email. Comments about the cost, distance to clients, pros and cons. security and other observations.
  • Alternative hotels to consider for the next trip and contact information.
  • Airports, names and airport 3 digit code. What services are available at the airport, money changing, auto rental, taxis, airport taxes upon arrival or departure, how far from the city or hotel, other comments.
  • Restaurants, recommendations, places to avoid, addresses and contact information.
  • Information and comments about business manners; the way people dress, gift giving, what NOT to do, other observations.
  • Cultural tips and observations. What and when do people eat. Tipping, what is correct. What to do or where to go in your off time.
  • Weather and climate. Recommendations for how to dress and what to pack.
  • Information about average costs, hotels, meals, transportation, and other related business costs
  • Other observations: What would you do differently and why? What would make the trip better or more efficient the next time? Recommendations for the next traveller from your organization.

The institutionalization of this information will result in more efficient planning and execution of travel plans, better administration of costs and time, and more satisfaction for the international road warriors in your organization. They can dedicate their time to getting work done, and not about travel worries.

Related Links

International business traveller -ambassador, explorer, map-maker

16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz

7 Tips for doing business internationally

International Business Trip Planning, Part 6

International Business Trip Planning, Part 5

International Business Trip Planning, Part 4





Before you go on your business trip to Mexico

21 08 2006

When planning a trip to visit Mexico to investigate the market, make connections or to initiate business operations, contact the following groups and organization before you go. They can assist you with information, meetings, finding contacts and understanding the country, the people and the business environment.

Mexico Business Trip Planning, sources of information

1. Contact your country’s Consulate or Embassy closest to your intended destination and see if a meeting will be possible. It is important to determine if they have a commercial or trade officer, many times the embassies or consulates only handle political matters.

2. Trade or commercial missions sponsored by your industry, city, state, or other formal business related group. These missions provide structured access to trade organizations, top business people, and politicians. They are normally of low to moderate cost, and you will be travelling with others seeking similar information about the country.

3. Contact the Sustainable Economic Development office in the Mexican state and Economic Development office in the Mexican cities you wish to visit. They can provide information on costs of doing business, permits and permissions and can help you find the contacts or information you are seeking.

4. Your state or city may have an economic promotion office in Mexico seeking to promote the city or state businesses and relationships. They are more than happy to organize meetings with possible contacts in Mexico and provide business information for you.

5. Seek trade show or international industry events in Mexico. Coordinate your trip so that you can attend the event, and consult with government and private industry contacts before of after the fair.

Related Links 

How to do business in Mexico, Parts 1 – 28 

Tip:  How to call Mexico from the US 





International business traveller – ambassador, explorer, map-maker

21 08 2006

The critical roles played by international business travellers.

International business travellers play an incredibly important role as ambassadors, explorers and “map-makers” inside their organizations and with their overseas contacts.

Ambassadors, Explorers, and “Map-Makers”

Ambassador of your country and culture. During your trip your actions and reactions are being watched by others. They are trying to confirm, deny or create stereotypes of your country. Everything including your inter-personal skills, business negotiation skills and manners, the way you dress and eat, your choice of hotels, table manners, social skills, and the ability to make small-talk and conversation will be watched, examined and commented upon after you leave. Keep this idea clear at all time during your trip, it is important.

Ambassador of your company. Prepare and bring all materials required for the negotiations and business interactions. Project an aura of professionalism, a willingness to learn and share, and honesty. Create relationships with a long-term vision. You may be promoted or leave the organization some day, but your international contacts will continue to do business with your company.

Ambassador of you. International business is all about relationships, and your behaviour and attitudes are critically important as the liaison and trusted representative. Make promises you can keep, follow-through on the projects and projects. Project honesty and a concern for doing business and maintaining relationships. Your actions should focus on creating a climate of trust and open communication. Don’t try to be someone you are not.

Explorer. The international business traveller, technicians, and sales and business development executives have the added responsibility of verifying existing information, establishing new contacts that will be beneficial in the future, and discovering new ideas and opportunities. It requires an inquisitive character, a bit of courage and a spirit of adventure.

Map-Maker. Often neglected by organizations is the cultural, political and personal information gathered by international business people. This information (or data), should be gathered, filtered and consolidated, and available to the organization after every overseas trip. “Maps” should be made for future consultation and reference. The map-making role requires the separation of the facts from interpretation, personal anecdotes and opinions. This information becomes the foundation for all future strategic and operating decisions.

Related Links

7 Tips for International Business

16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz

How to do Business in Mexico, Parts 1 – 28

International Business Trip Planning, Part 6





16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz

6 07 2006

16 Essential Questions – International Business Traveller’s Quiz

Every international business traveller should be able to answer these questions about their destination before getting on the plane.

  1. What is the size of the country; population and area?

  2. What are the top 3 or 5 cities, and why?
  3. Who is the President?
  4. What are the main political parties?
  5. What are the official languages?
  6. What is the ethnic makeup of the country?
  7. What is the climate and weather throughout the year?
  8. What are some of the important geographic features (rivers, mountains, lakes)?
  9. What are the major religions?
  10. What countries are neighbors?
  11. What is the currency and exchange rate?
  12. What are the countries biggest industries; national and export?
  13. Who are your competitors, and how long have they been established in the country?
  14. What are 3 significant issues affecting your industry in this country?
  15. What are 3 significant national issues that are in the news in the last 2 weeks?
  16. What national holidays or events will be celebrated during your visit

If you can’t answer every question. Set aside an hour, fire up the Internet, and do your homework.

It may be the most important hour you spend preparing for the trip.

Related Posts

7 Tips for International Business (Link)

Global Managers, what does it take to succeed (Link)

How to do business in Mexico, Parts 1 – 28 (Link)





How to do business in Mexico, Part 28

30 06 2006

Mexican Embassies and Mexican Consulates Worldwide

The Mexican embassy or consulate near you will be able to provide advice about immigration visas or other official rules, regulations and requirements in Mexico. The are NOT there to promote commercial interests of Mexico, but can put you in touch with other agencies or companies that will be able to help.

This information comes directly from the SRE (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores), which is responsible for the Mexican embassies and consulates worldwide. In English, this office is known as the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mexican Embassies Worldwide

Mexican Consulates Worldwide

Related Links:

Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs