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Business travel ‘has become more dangerous’

The International SOS Travel Risk Map

A survey of businesses has found that corporate leaders believe the risk to travellers remains high, with some even saying they think it has become more dangerous than previous years.

The Ipsos Mori Global Business Risks & Realities survey coincides with International SOS and Control Risks launching the latest edition of its Travel Risk Map, which provides risk ratings and key information across the world. The research found that 42 per cent of organisations have revised their travel itineraries in 2017 due to these ratings.

The survey revealed that 58 per cent of businesses had changed travel plans due to concerns over security threats, while 43 per cent did so due to natural disasters.

With so many adjusting itineraries in the face of threats, 63 per cent of managers said they believe travel risk has increased in the past year, although this was down from 72 per cent in last year’s survey. However, the Americas and Australasia topped the most concerned respondents at 78 and 72 per cent, respectively.

The research also found some areas of opportunity for businesses to improve their travel programme, with only 9 per cent saying they’ve updated their sustainability agenda to include travel risk mitigation. Furthermore, only 10 per cent has introduced a wellbeing policy, 13 per cent monitored road traffic incidents, 14 per cent updated their travel risk policy to include diversity-related issues (such as LGBT and female travellers) and 16 per cent had implemented a programme for people to understand existing health issues while away on business.

Organisations have taken some steps toward risk mitigation, though. Pre-trip and during trip emails were used by 39 per cent of decision makers, 53 per cent had begun educating employees and 44 per cent communicating with employees in a crisis and ensuring they have read pre-travel information.

Dr Doug Quarry, group medical director of health intelligence at International SOS, said: “It is promising to see that risk mitigation techniques are being prioritised, including annual health check-ups, which can be key to spotting any potential health issues that need managing prior to travel or assignments. As organisations continue to review and enhance their processes, it is important that new actions to promote a safe, healthy and well workforce are taken into account to help support and strengthen business resilience.”


Great read, thanks for sharing. I think the overall number of air accidents haven't risen that much and the likelihood of being directly involved in a security incident remains relatively low. We are just more aware of such accidents and the mass media provide much better coverage of each incident.

Best regards, Mark

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