BUSINESS INSIGHTS : The latest news, analysis, and trends about protection and care

Jun 3, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Business travellers: Safety is becoming their number one concern

More than ever, and especially since the Parisian attacks in 2015 and 2016, companies are becoming aware of the challenge of protecting their business travellers. According to a new study carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), this concern is also shared by the travellers themselves, who admit to being ever more worried about security issues. 


New travel regulations and requirements, politicians' immigration reforms, data security, reliability of bookings, communication problems… Business travellers are becoming more and more worried about security issues. This is the observation made in a new study carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), entitled Checking In: Servicing the Multifaceted Modern Business Traveller.


More exposed to theft, extortion, hostage-taking


Commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), this 2017 study showed that 56% of the people asked had noticed heightened personal safety concern in business travellers and travel managers in the last three months, and 25% had noticed an increase in requests for safety and crisis management training. Furthermore, 54% of travellers admitted to feeling "growing worry about travelling to the United States," particularly due to the "changes to visa requirements" and "immigration policies." 



"From car accidents to political unrest and earthquakes, there are various risks run during business trips," explains Josselin Ravalec, director of Anticip, a French company that supplies security and defence services. "The most frequent are medical, due to accident or illness. But, today, companies are looking to expand into dangerous places. As a result, they are more exposed to so-called 'intentional' threats such as theft, extortion, assault, kidnapping, hostage-taking and terrorist attacks."

In response to this uncertainty, 87% of the managers surveyed said they wanted to establish policies to improve safety training; a third of them said they had already implemented these changes. Such changes are necessary, if we are to believe the recent inquiry by International SOS (2017 Business Impact of Travel Risks).


Partial understanding of all risks


According to said survey, six out of ten European executive managers admitted that they did not understand or only partially understood all of the medical risks that their travelling employees might be subjected to. To mitigate this, 70% of those questioned said they wanted to improve their communications in 2017. Most of them also affirmed that they wanted to review and analyse travel policies and procedures, and even offer regular training for employees. Furthermore, 47% of the managers are already considering organising crisis management simulation exercises.



It is worth noting that the ACTE study is perfectly in line with the findings of the 2017 GBT satisfaction scale: safety is the companies' main concern, and has been since 2015. 

In France, for example, an article of the Code du Travail (labour code) holds the employer responsible for the safety of their employees. "Companies owe it to themselves to be able to inform, guide, monitor, alert and come to the aid of their employees," sums up Les Echos newspaper. This obligation is acceptable in the day-to-day, but becomes more difficult when business travellers resist being monitored by their employer when they are not in dangerous territories.


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