Business travel gives employees the opportunity to visit new and exciting countries, but the changing world climate makes it important to stay updated on shifting risk levels. While it’s impossible to predict every dangerous situation abroad, there are proactive measures that can be taken to send your team out with their best foot forward.
GBTA’s Risk Committee recently hosted a Risk Radar webinar that offered a “continent-by-continent” breakdown of information to aid in navigating business travel to potentially dangerous areas. Hosted by Senior VP of BCD Travel, Kathy Bedell, this presentation included valuable information for planning any sort of global business trip.
The webinar featured an overview of some of the world’s most intriguing travel destinations, including places like Russia and Turkey. The panel gave insight into the risk level of each location and included tips on how to best navigate the environment. Matthew Bradley of International SOS emphasized the fact that it’s important to give attention to areas such as the Northern Triangle, as the level of petty and violent crime is considerably higher there.
Next, focus was placed on preparing to send employees overseas. Specific attention must be given to groups who may be at a higher risk level abroad, including the LGBTQ community, women and certain racial groups. Preparing employees for their travels ahead of time is an important practice, as it sets the stage for a successful trip abroad.
So, what are some practical strategies for improving travel risk education?
- Implement a Travel Risk Mitigation Plan. Being proactive is vital in preventing a small issue from quickly escalating when abroad. Utilize resources such as GBTA’s Travel Risk Management Maturity Model (TRM3) tool to aid you in constructing your own.
- Know what groups hold extra risk in certain locations. Be aware of individuals who may be at a higher risk when traveling. Be strategic about where you send your employees and equip them with necessary resources.
- Be aware of changing political climates. Stay up-to-date on global news and research the destination before you send a team there.
- Know what countries will be bordering you. “You don’t lie in bed next to someone with the flu without catching a cold”, and this principle certainly demonstrates how vital it is to be aware of geopolitical tumult in the areas surrounding your destination.
- Stay up-to-date on travel rules and regulations. Always pay attention to policy shifts, such as the recent laptop and travel bans.
Matthew Westley, the Director of Risk Consulting at Drum Cussac, concluded the presentation by encouraging executives to build confidence amongst their employees in regards to their travel locations. He said the most important practice is to “encourage people to take reasonable, practical measures” to increase their safety, without creating a culture of fear. Empowering employees to be educated and aware of their surroundings is key to a successful and safe trip.
GBTA members may view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:
- Like Peanut Butter and Jelly: Proven Strategies for Successful TMC/Buyer Partnerships (Tuesday, June 20- 2:00 PM ET)
- Managed Travel Mobile Strategy: The app to keep it all together (Wednesday, June 21- 2:00 PM ET)
- Time for a Travel Policy Tune Up (Tuesday, June 27-2:00 PM ET)