As we transition out of 2023 into a new year of business travel, travel managers and corporate security teams must be more prepared to address Travel Risk and Duty of Care. As more business travelers are hitting the road or flying the friendly skies, it is critical to be aware of the changing threat landscape and how this might impact your travelers and their unique travel habits.
In recent years, we have seen a rise in crimes against individuals, and many popular travel destinations are now being classified as countries of concern by the United States Department of State Travel Advisories. These crimes range from larceny to kidnapping and even murder. While testifying in front of Congress on December 5th, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress the terror threat facing the United States has reached unprecedented levels. He went on to say, “I’ve never seen a time where all the threats or so many of the threats are all elevated, all at exactly the same time”.
As travel managers and security professionals, we must be mindful of conflicts taking place around the world and how they might impact flights, hotel bookings, and ground transportation for our travelers.
Planning and preparation are the keys to success when overseeing business travel security and safety. Arming your travelers and/or customers with the necessary travel tools, including safety guidelines, security standards, and current crime data for their destination, is an important step to ensuring a safe and secure trip.
Safety and security traveler checklists are another important piece of the planning process and can provide your travelers with additional piece of mind. Providing your travelers with a safety and security checklist allow travelers to better prepare for the unexpected. If your organization does not provide a checklist, consider creating one. Here are a few things to consider:
- Pre-trip advisories (Travel briefs)
- Official announcement that contains advice, information, or warnings in relation to a specific location
- Travel documents
- Government identification, international vaccination certification
- Safety products
- medication, bandages, door alarms, portable CO2 sensors, luggage tracker (AirTag)
- Cash needed.
- Medical facility locations, Teladoc number
- Check forecast.
And finally, don’t forget to check in with your travelers after a trip! Any business travel, successful or otherwise, deserves attention and can help inform and advance your travel risk program.