Travel Risk Management: it’s not the sexiest of topics. When we talk business travel, the online conversation turns to what to pack, which airline to fly with, or how to get yourself an upgrade. In other words, it turns to one thing: the traveller.

But what about when things go wrong? What happens when there’s a delayed flight, an accommodation mix-up or, worse, a car accident or serious illness? It’s time we got talking about business travel from a corporate level; from those responsible for the safe travel of their employees.

Is business travel safe?

According to iJet risk intelligence alert data, in the last five years there has been a 74% increase in the number of travel alerts published. It’s no wonder, then, that many business travellers are increasingly questioning the safety and security of travel. In fact, with recent terrorist attacks and an increase in natural disasters, 60% of business travellers say they are more anxious or fearful when travelling compared with 12 months ago. (ACTE).

Despite this increase in alerts and growing fear of travel safety, when The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) released data gathered from across its global members, 28% of them said their company had no risk management plan or they were unsure if one existed.

Why should businesses care?

So where has this gap come from? If more and more travellers are worried about travel safety, then why is there still a number of businesses who don’t go above-and-beyond to ensure the safe travel of their employees? Our argument would be: because it’s just not sexy enough (yet).

Every business by now knows they should have the technology and procedures in place in case of unexpected events. We don’t need to tell you that UK employers have a duty of care to do everything they can to ensure the safety of their employees as outlined in the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. But, of course, travel risk management goes beyond legal responsibility: we all know that a happy and safe employee means more productive work on the road.

Tech to the rescue

Whilst a legal and moral obligation of the employer seems obvious, it’s not always as easy to implement. The thought of business travel going wrong only makes us think of two things: long safety checklists and legal documents. But what if businesses made it not just simple, but appealing for their employees to prepare for any unexpected travel event? What if we talked about travel risk management with the same enthusiasm as upgrades and packing? What if- and here’s where it gets exciting- we could make travel risk management “sexy” with smarter tech and more awareness?

With today’s technology, such as sophisticated tracking systems and new safety apps, we’re on the cusp of making this happen. We believe that providing a safer and more comfortable way of travelling should be made easy and accessible to all corporate travellers. The question is: who’s going to make duty of care the next big conversation?

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