Business travel risks analysed

A gauge showing risk
Travel insurance

According to the Ipsos MORI Business Resilience Trends Watch 2019 survey, carried out in partnership with International SOS, 43 per cent of key business decision-makers believe that travel risks will increase in 2019. However, this represents the third year in a row that the number holding this opinion has decreased. Fifty-two per cent predicted that risk would increase in 2018, while 57 per cent believed that risk would increase in 2017.

Forty-five per cent of respondents, meanwhile, stated that risk has remained at the same level this year compared with last year (increasing from the 31 per cent who said the same in 2017). Forty-seven per cent said that they felt that travel risks had increased this year, representing a drop of 16 per cent compared with how many said the same in 2017. Seventy-two per cent said the same in 2016.

“While almost half of decision-makers believe that travel risks will increase next year, our research reveals that the evolving travel habits of the modern workforce are being overlooked by many organisations,” said Sally Napper, Security Specialist at International SOS and Control Risks. “Ensuring your policies stay relevant to the needs of a modern workforce helps to keep your people safer and better informed, and also demonstrates the continuing importance of adaptive risk management programmes – and could help win board approval and support for other initiatives.”

Protecting the workforce
The survey also found that 63 per cent of decision makers say that educating employees about travel risks is a major issue and the greatest challenge for ensuring that travellers stay safe. Forty-four per cent said that confirming that employees had read all their pre-travel guidance was the biggest challenge, while 42 per cent cited tracking employee travel, 42 per cent cited communicating with employees during a crisis, and 40 per cent cited having adequate resources to manage their health and safety efforts.

International SOS noted that only nine per cent of businesses said that they updated their company sustainability programme to include their travel risk programme, while only 11 per cent monitored the number of road traffic accidents in a destination and only 21 per cent implemented a programme to help employees understand their existing health issues while travelling, suggesting that there is some room for improvement as far as protecting employees goes – although many organisations did cite an encouraging number of strategies that they are adopting to better meet their duty of care requirements.

“Education and training are essential to reduce travel-related risk,” said Dr Doug Quarry, Group Medical Director for information and analysis at International SOS. “It is surprising that we are still seeing less than half of organisations taking these basic steps to satisfy their duty of care.  These programmes increase the chances that employees’ assignments will run smoothly – safeguarding the employee and also the business investment involved in the travel.”

As well as the survey, International SOS and Control Risks have also launched their latest Travel Risk Map, revealing the most up-to-date security and medical risk ratings for global destinations. You can view the map here.