Building a better corporate travel safety & security programme

When your employees venture beyond the borders of their familiar workspace, their health and safety take centre stage. While business trips often proceed smoothly, unforeseen challenges can arise, underscoring the need for robust corporate travel safety and security measures that extend beyond standard Duty of Care (DOC) efforts expected from most travel risk management teams.  

In this guide, we will provide you with essential corporate travel safety tips and insights to keep your business travellers safe and well-prepared while on the road. 

What are safety risks to consider while travelling for work? 

Generally, risks associated with business travel can be classified into two primary groups: individual risks and environmental risks.  

Together, they form the essential building blocks to a comprehensive corporate travel safety policy template. 

Individual risks to consider 

Individual risks are those directly related to your travellers themselves. This includes their behaviour, health, or identity (i.e., gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.). For the most part, individual risks are within the traveller’s control, and proactive measures like education, training, and proper planning can help mitigate them. Read on for more corporate travel security policy examples. 

Female traveller safety 

Women travelling for work are more likely to face certain risks than their male counterparts, such as sexual assault and harassment, and theft of personal belongings. In fact, according to a 2018 report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 83% of women reported concerns about their safety while on a business trip. Yet according to that same study, only 18% of travel policies specifically address female safety.  

Additionally, gender roles are legally enforced in certain parts of the world, primarily the Middle East. Certain behaviours or customs that are considered normal for women in most Western cultures are not tolerated and may even be considered illegal in other societies. 

LGBTQ+ traveller safety 

Travellers belonging to the LGBTQ+ community may also encounter unique challenges in different areas across the globe. In at least 60 countries worldwide (primarily in Asia and the Middle East), same-sex relationships are criminalised. A corporate travel security policy should address these risks, providing solutions, contact information, and other resources for confronting sensitive issues.  

Cultural misunderstandings 

Travel managers: Make sure both you and your travellers are familiar with local customs to avoid making a faux pas. Simple gestures like a thumbs-up, considered friendly in the US, may have negative connotations in others, like Italy or Greece. It’s recommended that travellers read up on cultural and business etiquette, and learn common spoken phrases, so that their trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Food & water safety 

Sampling local cuisine is a highlight of any journey, but travellers should exercise caution in regions with different hygiene standards. Street food and salads, which may not undergo proper treatment, washing, or preparation, should be avoided. Additionally, travellers should opt for bottled water instead of tap water.

Environmental risks to consider 

Environmental risks, on the other hand, are any external threats that can impact your travellers, including natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and even terrorism. These types of risks are often beyond the individual traveller’s control, but can have significant consequences on their safety and well-being. Business travel safety tips for preparing for environmental risks, your TRM team needs to stay informed on travel advisories, have contingency plans in place, and adopt holistic TRM software. 

Political and civil unrest 

Political instability can affect travel plans and put travellers in jeopardy. Since 2017, over 132 countries have experienced significant protests, and in 2023 alone, notable protests have occurred in Pakistan, South Korea, Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Greece, Poland, and parts of the US. When sending employees to areas that are politically unstable, careful and considerate planning based on up-to-date advice and information is essential.  

Natural disasters and adverse weather 

Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes are more common in certain parts of the world than you might think. But even a minor storm is enough to unexpectedly cancel a flight – leaving your travellers stranded and alone in an unfamiliar area.  

Crime & law 

Some destinations may have a higher prevalence of certain crimes, such as pickpocketing. Check out the most common crimes in the area and you can bring in corporate travel security measures to protect against them, whether your travellers need a guard or just a secure place to put their valuables. 

Medical accessibility 

Make sure your travellers know where they can get medical support before they need it. International SOS provides medical, clinical and security assistance worldwide and can advise on the best course of action for any health problems, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Illness and disease 

Stomach upsets, altitude sickness and heat exposure are some of the most common medical problems when travelling abroad. It’s important to make sure you take the right over-the-counter remedies, so make sure you do your research beforehand.  



Ground transportation, including taxis, rideshares, car hires, and private drivers, is often the preferred choice for business travellers moving within cities or regions. However, it also comes with its set of safety concerns, including vehicle safety, driver verification, navigation apps, traffic and road conditions, and emergency services. 


Public transportation is a cost-effective and eco-friendly option for business travellers, especially in urban areas. However, it presents unique safety considerations such as schedule and timeliness, crowds and pickpocketing, safety at stations, ticketing and fares, cultural sensitivity, and language barriers. 

One platform for all 

International travellers need the kind of safety net only a global TMC (and trusted network) can provide. A mix of technology and human support that drives compliance – and in turn, visibility – and works for everyone around the world reduces business travel risks. 

With FCM, you can rest assured that your corporate travel security programme is in capable hands, ensuring your travellers stay safe and well-prepared wherever their business takes them. 

Swifter, smarter, smoother travel. Let's talk. 

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