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Research reveals cost of failure to carry out hotel security checks

Female business traveller in a hotel

A new study has found that many corporate travel programmes are unprepared to address the safety challenges associated with their hotel policy, with just 19 per cent of organisations implementing safety and security checks for accommodation in 2017, according to Ipsos MORI.

The research, carried out for a new guide called Hotel Safety: A Guide to Staying Safe for Employers and Travellers by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and International SOS, revealed that failing to implement hotel security checks can have a negative impact on a business’s bottom line. One specific case recorded by labour and employment law firm Fisher Phillips saw an organisation pay damages of US$300,000 to the spouse of an employee severely injured while staying overseas.

On the other end of the spectrum, carrying out hotel safety and security checks and implementing extra measures can save firms money. International SOS points to the case of a school that saved $96,000 by securing a medical service including an on-site doctor during a trip in which several students fell ill. International SOS says the move allowed for on-site treatment rather than a costly evacuation.

Greeley Koch, executive director of ACTE Global, commented: “Hotel security is an often-overlooked component in duty of care. It simply is not enough to create security policies based only on air travel and location-based threat assessments. Even some places we would consider ‘safe’ have experienced serious terrorist attacks on hotels. Travel managers must understand the importance of making sure their travellers are safe at every stop on their itinerary, from the airport to the convention centre to the hotel.”

James Wood, security director at International SOS and Control Risks, said: “Organisations are increasingly sending travellers to higher risk locations, but security and safety considerations are not keeping pace with commercial priorities. Businesses across industries are growing their footprints in medium to extreme risk destinations, but the majority of decision makers are not taking the time to implement hotel safety and security checks.”;


Thank you for the great points. One consideration that was not relevant a few years ago is the increased use of shared economy accommodation such as AirBnB. Beyond the obvious lack of standardization security in the dwelling itself, the issue of neighborhood safety increases. One can reasonably expect that a major hotel chain will be located in a relatively safe neighborhood, but when selecting a room on shared economy sites there is an additional burden to research the neighborhoods. This isn't easy to do - in urban environments safe or unsafe may be the difference of only two blocks.

Michael Woodrum

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