Michael W. McCormick
Executive Director and COO, Global Business Travel Association
Business travelers view terrorism as the greatest safety risk they face on the road, according to recent research from the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Almost half (45 percent) rank it as their greatest concern when traveling for business, much higher than the share indicating street crime (15 percent), illness (13 percent), theft (12 percent), kidnapping (8 percent) or natural disasters (6 percent).
Understanding the risks.
Keeping travelers safe on the road is a prime responsibility for travel professionals. Understanding the fears and anxieties about business travel, as well as communicating the available risk protocols and assistance services, can go a long way in building an effective risk management program.
While it is important to be prepared for every scenario, a business traveler is less likely to face terrorism and more likely to deal with a medical emergency, street crime or even losing a passport. Being in unfamiliar surroundings raises the stress level in such situations. Businesses are working to alleviate these issues for their travelers, though. GBTA research shows a majority (53 percent) of travel professionals report that their company provides both travel insurance and assistance services to their business travelers.
Prioritizing employee safety.
When it comes to travel assistance services, travel professionals rank assistance with medical (88 percent) or security (86 percent) evacuations as the most important, followed closely in level of importance by logistical aid such as referrals to a local hospital (75 percent) or help replacing a missing passport (66 percent).
While companies certainly have varying interests, there is very little difference among them when it comes to concern around traveler safety. Ensuring the safety and security of business travelers is paramount, and travel insurance and assistance services can help protect both employees and the company, assisting in meeting duty-of-care obligations and providing the traveler some peace of mind.
Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO, Global Business Travel Association, [email protected]