Research¹ released today by ABTA - The Travel Association has found that although the majority of business trips overseas go ahead without incident, managers’ main concerns for their staff on overseas business trips revolve around potential threats to health or safety. These include potential security threats, health and medical concerns, harassment or violence against staff, natural disasters and severe weather conditions.
The research findings emphasise the vital role that Travel Management Companies can play in providing up to date, relevant information and support both pre-departure and whilst away. A majority of respondents stated that in the last twelve months none of their staff had experienced any issues when travelling overseas. However, when asked, “What are you concerned about when your staff travel abroad?” 58% of respondents stressed health and medical issues and 57% of respondents stressed security threats to staff. Potential harassment or violence against staff was a concern for 35% of respondents and a further 35% were concerned about natural disasters and severe weather conditions. Other issues of concern for managers included organising the correct entry documents at 53%, misunderstanding of local culture at 33% and accessibility for staff with a disability, at 25%.
Business travel is an important sector of ABTA membership with one in six ABTA Members counting business travel as their principal business. 38 of the 50 largest Travel Management Companies in the UK are ABTA Members with a combined turnover of £10.4 billion. ABTA provides a range of support for its business travel Members including crisis support, operational advice and bulletins about incidents and travel news that may affect their customers in the UK and overseas - all services that they can use to support their clients.
Victoria Bacon ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development said: “Travel Management Companies have a vital role to play in supporting their clients to ensure that staff travelling on business have the best possible information and support.
“ABTA Member travel companies benefit from out of hours crisis management support along with email operational bulletins. ABTA’s team monitors events around the world and provides updates exclusively to ABTA Members, as well as passing on changes to Foreign Office advice as soon as they occur.”
ABTA is running a Business Travel Risk Management seminar anyone involved in arranging business travel. For more information see our events pages.