Is travel risk taken seriously by TMCs?
Posted by Mike Atherton on 19 March, 2015
2014 was a difficult year in terms of the real and potential risks to travellers, with security, environmental and transportation risks hitting many of the major business centres and transit points. The situation in 2015 unfortunately looks similar, with the same need to be kept informed about the likely threats to employees and travellers as they go about their business.
So as a travel management company how do you go about serving your clients and their travellers with the intel they need to make the right decisions for their business and employees? Do you find that travel risk management is a little like back pain, when it happens its all consuming, but after a while and a little exercise it gets put to the back of your mind. Likewise, when a client asks about your capabilities regarding risk is it part of your total client and traveller communication strategy or simply an opportunity to resell a 3rd party solution?
To help the TMC build the right dialogue with their clients we decided to take a snapshot of what travellers knew about their company's travel risk polices and what level of support the received. We did this to get an insight into how companies treat risk management and how the communicate to their employees. So we asked travellers from companies large and small and across the major TMC's to answer a few questions about the service they experienced. The results were really illuminating.
Amazing as it seems just over half of all travellers (52%) responding to the survey said their companies didn't have a formal travel management policy or even worse didn't know if one existed. Of those travellers whose companies did have a travel policy 60% said they were never contacted pre-trip or during travel with advice or information about potential risks. So on the surface it would seem there is a disconnect between what clients say is important for their business and the type of services they deliver to their staff.
On top of this we decided to explore the other side of the equation with what is the perception of risk in the travelling community - how much risk do they perceive is out there. We asked the business travellers to quantify their view on the number of travel threats live at any one time. Most respondents massively underestimated the level of risk.
We work with iJET to power the intel embedded in our TMC travel risk solutions, they provide the best analyst driven, structured intel for corporates globally.
At the time of the survey, 118 city and country travel risk alerts were in place across the globe (iJET) with varying categories of risk, yet when asked to estimate the current travel risk environment, a majority of the travellers (55%) thought this figure would be 20, greatly underestimating the potential and actual risks when travelling.
This situation clearly needs addressing with corporate clients and presents an opportunity for the TMC to expand their relationship beyond bookings to a wider role within the client company.
Mantic Point provide and support risk management solutions for FCm, Portman Travel, Direct Travel, Corporate Traveller amongst others. If you'd like to know more about what we do or have a demo please contact me
You can find out the details of the survey and the traveller responses at manticpoint.com