Emmanuel Scansani, Director of Partnerships and Strategic Relations for Riskline, discussed ‘black swan’ events in a pandemic world. He argued that Covid-19 was not a preventable event, but there were early warning signs that were disregarded by many. He pointed out that there have recently been fewer terrorist attacks in the Western world, however, he predicts that in 2022 as people begin to travel again, the risk of such attacks will increase.
He also brought attention to climate change and the probability that we will see more extreme weather events and catastrophes in the next few years, as we have already seen with extreme flooding in New York and Germany. He highlighted that since the pandemic, society is more aware of potential risk and therefore still hesitant to travel.
He discussed how fake news has contributed to disinformation, facilitated by the increase in use of internet during the pandemic. “Travel risk intelligence is crucial to fighting fake news,” he informed attendees. To instill confidence in travellers once again, they must be correctly informed about the risk of travelling to their chosen destination. “Travellers who know more about their destination are less likely to change their travel plans and encounter unexpected risks,” he said. Adequately informing travellers allows them to prepare for their trip, even if there is always the possibility of an unpredictable event such as a terrorist attack. To ensure a true report is given about a destination, someone must verify the information collected in a travel risk assessment report.
Scansani highlighted that duty of care for customers and staff is ‘top of the agenda’. Travellers expect high standards from airlines and insurers in providing them with detailed information regarding Covid-19 conditions when they travel. Their expectations regarding duty of care are also heightened, something which insurers, assistance companies and airlines must consider. He concluded that restoring faith in travel is crucial to the industry, therefore duty of care and going above and beyond for customers must be prioritised.