7 types of corporate travel risks business travelers may face 

Lady in a car looking out of the window

One of the principles of corporate travel is ensuring safety of your business travellers. While on a business trip- whether it is for a client meeting, hitting the road for a day’s event, or flying to a different country, business travelers can face volatile, complex, and unpredictable situations. Even though we all wish for safe travel and not unwanted surprises, travel managers cannot control potential risks.  

Here are different types of risks and common threats business travelers might face on their trip: 

1. Geopolitical conflicts: Political instability leading to country/city wide protests, civil unrest, rise in local crime, and even terrorism can threaten your business expansion and put your travelers in dangerous situation. Thus, travel managers and business travelers should be updated about latest news of the destination and postpone business trips, in case of geopolitical tensions. 

2. Natural disasters: This is another risk that business travelers can face on a business trip. No one can predict natural calamities such as cyclone, hurricane, earthquakes, etc. In such cases, organizations should train employees to be vigilant, coordinate with natural disaster management teams and timely inform their managers. 

3. Cyberattacks during business trip: As business travelers rely on mobile phones and unsecured networks on business trips, they can be victims of cyberattacks. Cybercrimes can occur potentially at airports, hotels, restaurants, or any public setting. In case of security breaches, business travelers should inform IT and security departments immediately. 

4. Health and safety risks: Business travelers may require medical support at any time. There can be epidemics, diseases, and even pandemics threatening their lives. COVID-19 is an example. Or there can be a medical emergency in the middle of the sea. Also, if employees suffer from medical emergencies, they should immediately inform travel managers. In case of managed travel, managers can reach out to travel management companies and seek support. Read the full case study of how FCM Travel assisted Songa Offshore in a medical emergency in the middle of the sea


5. Discrimination: ethnicity or community: A business traveler’s demeanor, etiquette, dressing sense, etc., can hurt the sentiments of people where you are traveling. The onus lies on business travelers to respect the culture and religion of the destination country. Travel managers can share advice and laws of the land and how to respect, interact, and maintain harmonious relationships. 

6. Visa and documentation: Employees can face legal and compliance risks if important documentation is overlooked. Countries have strict policies regarding business activities and travel. Ensure your paperwork such as visa, work permit, tickets, etc., are up-to-date.  

7. Lost/stolen documents: Has anyone reported about phone stolen in a foreign land? Or missing bags? If business travelers face theft or lose their important documents, they must inform their respective companies and the embassy. Documents are mandatory to pass through security checks and remain in the country. Therefore, to avoid any hassle, it is advisable to put your documents on a secured Cloud network. 

Mitigating business travel risks 

To ensure safety and wellbeing of business travelers, companies must consider their duty of care to employees, and make time for training and adequate communication, including in a crisis. Essential details such as emergency contact details, embassy numbers, etc. should also be provided. Without adequate information, employees can take matters in their own hands, and it can become trickier to navigate the risks. This not only increases the risk to your company but can also lead to wasted business trips and unhappy employees.  

Moreover, travel managers must make use of travel itinerary tracking, especially when the business traveler is facing known risks. 

You can also read through the newly released ISO 31030 standard to set a benchmark for assessing, building and implementing an effective travel risk management framework.   

For end-to-end travel management, travel managers can look for managed travel services with global presence and local nuances. FCM Travel is present in more than 90 countries and is well-equipped to handle emergencies across continents. 

Discover more

When we think of travel risks we typically think about large catastrophic events, traveling to dangerous locations or the risk of illness. Yet the last two years has seen the travel landscape change and travel and HR policies need to adapt to limit the exposure of other risks.

Get ahead of potential travel risks. Reach out to us today.

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