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Travel risks & reality: 72% believe travel risks have increased over the past year; 57% anticipate further rise in risk levels – 1/3 of organizations modified travel itineraries due to country risk ratings – Nearly half (48%) report an increase in investment to mitigate risks

Profile Photo By: Carsten Hennig
November 15, 2016

Travel risks & reality: 72% believe travel risks have increased over the past year; 57% anticipate further rise in risk levels – 1/3 of organizations modified travel itineraries due to country risk ratings – Nearly half (48%) report an increase in investment to mitigate risks

Trevose, Pennsylvania – 15 November 2016
Despite an increased perception of risk (72% of respondents), 44% reported a rise in business travel activity in the past year and over half expect further increase in 2017. This is result of the launched Travel Risk Map for 2017 by International SOS and Control Risks.

International SOS Infographic

80% of organizations modified travel itineraries in the past year due to health and security concerns. Almost half of respondents (48%) say their organizations investment in travel risk mitigation has increased over the past year, and 47% believe this will increase further in the coming year.

The top risk mitigation activities were:
Reinforced travel security measures – 50%
Updated travel risk policy – 45%
Introduced pre-trip advisory emails – 39%
Implemented travel safety training – 32%
Implemented programs to locate travelers – 25%
Provided pre-travel health programs – 22%
Invested in crisis communication systems – 20%
Enforced use of mobile check in – 15%

Business decision-makers report the greatest challenges in mitigating travel risks are:
Educating employees about travel risks – 49%
Communicating during a crisis – 47%
Tracking employee travel – 42%
Confirming that employees have read pre-travel information – 37%
Travel risk policy compliance – 31%
Managing a crisis – 31%
Business continuity planning – 23%
Implementing a travel risk policy – 23%
Confirming that employees have taken travel risk training – 23%
Understanding legal obligations to travelers – 22%
Management buy-in of travel risk policy – 18%

Security Risks Higher on the Corporate Agenda than Healthcare
Dominating concerns on a global level are potential terror attacks (71%), followed by the Zika virus (49%) and civil unrest (46%), with inadequate healthcare and road accidents both at 15%. However, these lesser considered, but more common, issues should also be taken seriously.

Dr Irene Lai, Medical Director of Information and Analysis for International SOS, said: “It is vital for companies to familiarise themselves and their travelers with the health risks associated with travel and take measures to reduce those risks. While the Zika virus has had extensive media coverage this year, common medical issues which don’t make the headlines, such as traveller’s gastric issues or running out of regular medication, are more likely and can destroy a business trip.”

“Road accidents are also a major issue and one of the top five causes of medical evacuation. A number of countries showed significant improvement in deaths from road accidents in the past year, but organizations should be mindful that they remain a common major risk.”

Respondents take the following actions to mitigate risk when they travel:
Share itinerary with family and friends – 59%
Research threats at destination – 54%
Research vaccination requirements – 42%
Research attitudes, cultures and practise of local population – 42%
Protect against mosquito bites – 36%

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