Business travel spend and visits from the UK to the Baltic region has soared, according to research from Collinson Group.

It found that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were among the top growth markets for UK business travel with visits in 2015 to Estonia up 697 per cent on the previous year and spend up 745 per cent.

The analysis revealed that overall UK business travel spend globally was up 30 per cent to £5.82 billion compared to the previous year and the number of nights pent on travel up 17 per cent.

Despite a rise in global security risks and concerns around terrorism, the data showed a number of countries in the Middle East and Asia saw a surge in business traffic and spend last year. There was a 995 per cent rise in spend to Pakistan and a 197 per cent rise to Tunisia, although both countries saw a drop in the number of visits (-13% and -26%).

Duty of care

As part of the research the Collinson Group interviewed 103 HR professionals responsible for travel activity within the business and found less than half said they ensure their staff are issued with company guidelines for travelling. Only 38 per cent admitted they conduct risk assessments if the employee is going to an area deemed as high risk.

A fifth said their firm had no corporate travel risk partner or TMC in place.

Randall Gordon-Duff, head of product, corporate travel, Collinson Group, said: “Terrorist activity in countries that used to be perceived as low risk has completely transformed the duty of care levels that employers should now be routinely considering for their employees, no matter where their business travel takes them.

“Companies need to take a long, hard look at the cover they have in place. Many Travel Management Companies, for instance, do not offer a comprehensive security element in their service – and in today’s world, security is a critical element that a company needs to be considering for its staff,” he said.

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