Business travellers are becoming more concerned about their safety and security when on the road, according to a new global survey of travel buyers.
The research carried out by ACTE and American Express Global Business Travel found that 37 per cent of buyers had seen a rise in enquiries about traveller safety since April.
But there is still plenty of work to do to improve duty of care to travellers with 27 per cent of buyers admitting they do not have a detailed emergency plan in place.
The study also found that 39 per cent of buyers did not have regular emergency planning meetings within their organisations. Only 14 per cent said that these planning meetings were held “once or more per month”.
More positively, the vast majority of buyers have started to take steps to reduce travellers’ fears with 83 per cent using location technology and 79 per cent offering “proactive safety communication” to employees.
Greeley Koch, executive director of Association of Corporate Travel Executives: A non-profit association that represents the global business travel industry. It provides executive-level educational programmes and carries out independent..., said: “Travel managers cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to worst-case scenario planning.
“The status quo for many organisations is to react to a crisis – but this leaves travellers in danger and ultimately does not lead to replicable procedures for the future. Proactive planning is an absolute necessity in an evolving global threat environment.”
Despite numerous terrorist attacks and other incidents around the world in 2017, the majority of buyers (58 per cent) have not made any changes to their travel policy in the last six months.
Evan Konwiser, vice president, digital traveller, at American Express GBT, added: “Travel is changing at an accelerated rate, but corporate policymaking moves much slower.
“Organisations of all sizes must identify ways that travel policies can be nimbler and adapt to new challenges. Having the right partners and tools in place can be a huge advantage when new disruptions emerge.”
Many buyers (45 per cent) would like more help from their TMCs in improving safety and security services to travellers, while 40 per cent want to provide more safety training and 38 per cent are interested in installing emergency check-in technology.
The survey polled 170 corporate travel buyers from around the world including the North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.