Security threats most common reason to change staff travel plans

According to the ‘Global Business Resilience Trends Watch 2018’ report, three out of five business leaders believe that international travel has become riskier over the last year.

Fears over security threats and natural disasters have resulted in high numbers of employers changing employee travel plans, with US executives proving more anxious about the situation than their European counterparts.

According to the ‘Global Business Resilience Trends Watch 2018’ report, which was based on a survey of 667 international business decision-makers undertaken by Ipsos MORI on behalf of medical and travel security services firm International SOS, 63% believed that travel risks had increased over the last year.

US business leaders were the most anxious about the scenario, with almost four out of five saying that travel had become riskier compared with 55% of Europeans.

As a result, just under three out of five of those questioned said they had altered employees’ international travel arrangements over the last year due to worries about security threats, while 43% did so in the wake of natural disasters. The risk rating of individual countries was also an important factor (42%) here as was civil unrest (34%).

The most popular action to mitigate such risks was to send out advisory emails before and during trips abroad (39%), but the biggest challenge was considered to be in educating employees about them (53%).

Communicating with staff during a crisis was also considered difficult as was ensuring they had read the pre-travel information they had been issued (44% respectively). A third of respondents indicated they were now offering annual health checks.

Doug Quarry, International SOS’ group medical director for medical information and analysis, said it was “promising” to see that employers were prioritising risk mitigation, including annual health check-ups in order to spot any potential health issues.

“As organisations continue to review and enhance their processes, it is important that new actions to promote a safe, healthy and well workforce are taken into account to help support and strengthen business resilience.”