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Carmen Stinson - Mar 12, 2019

9 Tips for Minimizing Travel Risks

There is no doubt that corporate travel risk management landscape has drastically shifted. Here you will find 9 tips for minimizing travel risks.

According to iJet, in the last five years, there’s been a 74% increase in the number of alerts published. Nowadays, many of the largest companies have internal corporate security teams to perform destination risk assessments and adequately brief travelers, but this comes at a cost that can be prohibitively high for small and medium enterprises.

The result is that, in many cases, untrained line managers or HR staff are asked to sign off on overseas travel, and by doing so they may be accepting liability in an area of extreme care.

To take this under control, both TMCs and companies should together define a duty of care program.  Between written policy and technology, many services, measures, and processes that will aim to avoid, and support during a crisis.

In addition, consulting with an external security specialist can mitigate the above problems. It can also be a good investment for a company’s long-term overseas business strategy. It may even form part of the decision-making process in regards to building business operations in a new territory. Quite often, integrating security reviews into the business process can save companies from losing money in an area facing instability or uncertainty, and prevent overseas business investment from going to waste.

Plan Your Corporate Travel Risk Management to Keep Employees Safe:

Provide information about the area

Knowing what your employees are heading towards is a big comfort. Research and briefing on the country, city or neighborhood often reveal exciting facts or tips. And providing guidelines or schedules gives more structure and context for travelers.

Know travelers specific travel needs

It’s important to be aware of any individual requirements needed by the traveler, as well as making sure they are given the appropriate information to manage, reduce or eliminate specific risks. The employer should know of any pre-existing medical conditions and confirm the traveling country has adequate medical facilities.

Run a traveler risk profile

Travelers themselves should be taken into consideration, as complications may arise with the traveler’s nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender in specific regions.

Have a business travel policy

Travel policies establish that companies are providing efficient support for their travelers and that travelers are aware of the support given. Communication about what is provided and what to expect can go a long way.

Encourage employees to take health measures beforehand

Giving guidelines on the destination can help them prepare accordingly. Also, recommend your travelers to visit their doctor to go over specific risks and prevention methods.

Discuss tech and cybersecurity

In this online world tech and cybersecurity is a growing area of concern, so make sure to discuss cyber threat methods and the best ways to thwart them with traveling employees. Also, understand your Travel Management Company (TMC) duty of care software program, in which a live map of travelers locations can efficiently provide support when needed.

Enroll employees in the STEP Program

Interactive applications and U.S intelligence have developed a free service program for U.S travelers safety named Smart Traveler Enrollment, which allow native citizens to register in the nearest U.S embassy or consulate while abroad. The program’s main purpose is to deliver recent updates about the area along with security intelligence, the embassy will also be responsible about each citizen whereabouts in case of any unpredictable happening.

Be ready to run a traveler location system

Another tool to consider is traveler GPS tracking often paired with the online booking tool. Those are traveler-elected systems, disclosed/suggested via the travel policy. Tracking includes geographical location (for example, the hotel room he/she is staying in) and transport intentions at the moment (for example a cab, a train, plane, etc). By running this type of systems, the company assures immediate and truthful data and, if necessary, launch an evacuation plan.

Make an evacuation plan or communication plan

Are you prepared if unexpected events arise? Will you be able to immediately communicate with your travelers if they are in an unsafe area? Do they know the communication protocol?

Usually, the answer is ‘no.’ Ensure the team knows what to do in case of emergencies.

The satisfaction of the business traveler is not always easy, but a cordial and empathetic treatment is very helpful. Additionally, preferred vendors not only bring savings but support a duty of care program.

Corporate travel risk management requires careful planning. While many businesses may see it as an obstacle to doing business overseas, ignoring travel security can be dangerous. The technology commonly used for Corporate Travel bookings can facilitate this process. The more you strive for your employee's safety, the smoother the trip and experience for everyone involved.

Having the right agency can save you up to 30% on your overall travel budget while keeping your employees happy.

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About the Author

Carmen Stinson
Director, Global Corporate Travel Sales & Operations
Carmen is a seasoned hospitality professional with over 19 years of management, from the hotel industry to the corporate travel arena. She is dedicated to high-level customer relations, while an expert in financial management, and operations. Carmen passion for traveling matches her professional experience.
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