Why you need to manage travel risk for the business traveller
Posted by Mike Atherton on 28 July, 2015
If you manage travel arrangements for corporate business travellers then, with the right tools, you're well placed to manage their travel risk too.
Why is managing travel risk good for your TMC?
Because it enables you to add value beyond the booking.
Most corporate clients are concerned by the risks associated with having staff travelling on business. Risk managers have a completely different take on the cost of managing this risk and this can change the landscape when your TMC is negotiating terms with a potential (or existing) client.
Get the risk manager involved and the conversation will not be dominated by percentage savings but by the obvious benefits of having a live risk view of every traveller, in any country, at any time with the means to automate communication should things go wrong.
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.
In the age of corporate accountability there has never been more pressure to protect the board and senior management from civil and criminal proceedings. Having a risk solution makes sense for any TMC looking to differentiate its service and defend against competitors.
We conducted a survey at the end of last year which revealed that 60% of travellers were not given any risk assessment or advice before travelling. This presents a clear opportunity for mid-sized TMCs to provide valuable information that informs the traveller and supports the travel booker's duty-of-care.
We asked travellers from companies large and small and across the major TMCs 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 who's company's did have a travel policy 60% said they were never contacted pre-trip or during travel with advice or information about potential risks and traveller safety. 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 under estimated the level of travel 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. View all the results here.
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.