ASATA Column: Safe and secure

1925

If you’re going to be forced to gallivant for business, you want to do it in a manner that is safe and secure. You also want to know that your company, travel manager and travel agent have your safety and security as their highest priorities, don’t you?

Well, you’re not alone. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) recently investigated the impact of terror on business travellers and found that travel managers are generally not tuned into how their travellers feel about safety and terror issues.

The study revealed that travel managers are a great deal more confident than their more sceptical business traveller counterparts that their company’s travel policy would effectively address risk. Only a quarter of travel managers changed the company’s destination policy as a result of a terrorist act or threat, but more than half of travellers changed their attitude about visiting these destinations.

Somehow, if the survey is to be believed, travellers’ concerns are not being heard, and travel managers are under-estimating the willingness of their travellers to hop on the next plane.

Terrorism is not the only concern for corporate travellers. Most travellers agreed that more common risks like road traffic accidents, street crime and demonstrations while travelling were a bigger concern to them than terrorism.

Travellers also reported that they wanted more access to up-to-date risk management tools and specific safety briefings for various destinations. However, the traveller rarely voices these concerns, and as a result, travel managers tend to assume that the traveller is happy with the travel programme.

The study shows that a third of business travellers worry that a reluctance to travel could potentially hurt their career. What’s more is that two thirds of travellers say there is a clear psychological effect on either them or their families when they are travelling to a region where they do not feel safe.

At a time when terrorism and safety concerns are real, an ASATA travel agent can play an important role in helping you travel with peace of mind and facilitate communication. Turn to your ASATA travel agent to discuss any concerns you may have about the destination to which you are travelling. Ask them about available risk management tools and safety briefings for your destination.

Otto de Vries, CEO: ASATA