Of the 5 key risks highlighted in the Healix Risk Outlook 2023 report, is there one that you think presents a bigger threat to the globally mobile population? Why is this one different?
In terms of travel, Europe’s growing energy crisis will have wide-ranging impacts on the leisure travel industry. Disruption to energy markets have been a direct catalyst for the rising cost of living crisis facing many consumers, contributing to rising inflation in numerous countries. As the cost of travel inevitably increases, with some estimates predicting airfares will increase 48.5 per cent by the end of 2022, consumers are cutting spending. The post-pandemic resurgence in global leisure travel could be facing turbulent times ahead.
How has the pandemic changed how travel risk managers view the risks organisations are facing?
We’ve seen a pivot away from ‘travel risk management’ towards ‘people risk management’ in the post-pandemic era. The focus used to be primarily on basic trip management, while now we’re seeing a more holistic approach to travel which includes assessments of an individual’s itinerary, medical considerations, travel experience, risk tolerance and numerous other factors. The more factors which are analysed, the more accurate a final assessment can be. Organisations are more aware than ever of the importance of providing bespoke risk assessments to employees in order to facilitate safe, yet permissive, travel.
How has Healix integrated the ISO standard into its travel risk assessment and management processes?
At Healix, we ensure we are at the forefront of developing and implementing measures through our world-leading travel risk management processes. Our new Sentinel platform allows managers to request status updates from employees, alert travellers to potential incidents and keep track of both ongoing and upcoming trips. The ISO standard has demonstrated the importance of strategic risk management processes, which Healix achieves through our suite of integrated risk management solutions.
Will 2023 see the recovery of business travel to pre Covid levels, in spite of the risks faced currently?
While we expect that business travel will return to pre-Covid levels at some point, the turbulence of 2022 has likely slowed this progress. Economic considerations have rapidly overtaken operational issues as the major impediment to business travellers, but this short-to-medium shock may only act as a temporary obstruction rather than a permanent feature of business travel. As companies are now employing more strategies measures than ever to ensure business travel is conducted in a sustainable, safe and economical manner, an eventual return to pre-Covid levels in late 2023 is not out of the question.