Overwhelming Majority of Companies Keep Travelers Safe Through Travel Risk Management Protocols

Mobile Technology Helping Companies Communicate With and Track Employees

ALEXANDRIA, VA – May 19, 2015 — The GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), today unveiled a study finding an overwhelming majority of organizations – 83 percent — report their travel programs have risk management protocols in place in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their business travelers. It’s clear that travel risk management (TRM) protocols use is on the rise – of the organizations that said they did not have TRM protocols in place, 60 percent said they were planning to adopt within the next two years.

The study, Keeping Travelers Safe Through Travel Risk Management (TRM), sponsored by Concur Technologies, surveyed more than 250 travel managers, security officers and human resource personnel to gain a better understanding of how many organizations have travel risk management protocols in place as well as the features these programs include. Through TRM protocols, businesses seek to keep business travelers safe in addition to minimizing the effects of potential travel mishaps.

“The high adoption rate of TRM protocols demonstrates that businesses are committed to keeping their road warriors out of harm’s way,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research. “We’re also excited to see that technological advances, such as apps and text messaging, are changing the face of TRM programs by enabling organizations to better track and communicate with their employees. Travelers can focus on doing business, rather than worrying about potential risks.”

Although TRM protocols typically include several features for both domestic and international travel, the study found that large organizations are more likely than small organizations to offer pre-travel information, automated communication about real-time risks and local providers for medical and security services as part of their TRM protocol. Typical features of TRM protocols include:

1. traveler tracking,
2. pre-travel info and preparation,
3. TMC engagement in support of risk protocols,
4. pre-travel approval,
5. automated communication about real time risks,
6. local providers for medical and security assistance,
7. locally available assistance services and
8. travel concierge.

“Travel risk management is important to our customers because it helps them fulfill their duty of care obligations,” said Johnny Thorsen, Senior Director, Strategy and Product Marketing, Concur. “We’re committed to providing the tools necessary to help companies of all sizes protect their workforce.”

During an emergency, organizations that have TRM protocols in place can generally locate all impacted employees and verify their safety much faster than companies without protocols in place.

One-third of respondents said they could locate all impacted employees in real-time; 20 percent said they could located travelers in 15-30 minutes; and 31 percent said it would take longer than a half an hour to locate all their impacted employees. However, 20 percent said they did not know how long it would take to track their employees down.

The study found it takes an estimated median of 1.5 hours to confirm every employee’s safety when an incident occurs: 28 percent reported it would take less than one hour, 43 percent said it would take one or more hours and 24 percent said it would take two or more hours. One third of the respondents (29%) said they did not know how long it would take to confirm everyone’s safety.

Technology Adoption

Greater adoption of mobile tracking and messaging technologies may enable companies to locate employees and confirm their safety more quickly. With nearly 90 percent of business travelers carrying a smart phone, wireless technology is quickly becoming an important method for communicating with travelers. According to the study, there is ample opportunity for improvement in technology use, including increased mobile app implementation.

While there is room for improvement in the area of apps, SMS is prioritized higher than mobile apps when it comes to communicating with travelers during an emergency or disruption. Half of respondents ranked automated SMS among their top three most important channels and 39 percent ranked manual SMS in their top three. Thirty-six percent of respondents included mobile apps on their top three list.
Organizations rely on multiple data sources when communicating with travelers, with the most common including a TMC system (60 percent), third-party traveler tracking system (41 percent), and mass notification system (35 percent).
Companies use data captured through online booking tools (OBT) or TMCs to approve travel, provide pre-trip information to travelers, track travelers and communicate about risks. Because non-OBT bookings can create challenges for TRM programs, 67 percent of organizations do not allow non-OBT booking. That said, non-OBT bookings are still fairly common.
Although there are technologies available to mitigate the challenges involved in non-OBT bookings, the adoption rates of these technologies must increase in order for those challenges to become less of an issue for TRM.


The current study is based on an online survey of 257 respondents, of which 85 percent were Travel Managers and 15 percent were Security, HR or other personnel involved with Travel Risk Management in North America. Most respondents were from the United States (82 percent), while 10 percent were from Canada and 8 percent from Mexico.

The study, Keeping Travelers Safe Through Travel Risk Management (TRM), is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing [email protected]. Click here to view an abstract of this research.

GBTA will be hosting a webinar on June 11 at 11am (ET) to further discuss this study and its findings.Learn more and register now.

CONTACT: Colleen Lerro, +1 703-236-1133, [email protected]
Gayle Kansagor, +1 202-295-8775, [email protected]

About Concur
Concur, a part of SAP, imagines the way the world should work, offering cloud-based services that make it simple to manage travel and expenses. By connecting data, applications and people, Concur delivers an effortless experience and total transparency into spending wherever and whenever it happens. Concur’s services adapt to individual employee preferences and scale to meet the needs of companies from small to large so they can focus on what matters most. Learn more at www.concur.com or the Concur blog.

About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, gbta.org

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