Business Travelers Weigh In On Safety and Security

Business travel spending worldwide reached approximately $1.3 trillion in 2016 and is expected to rise to $1.6 trillion by 2020, according to Statista.

But while business travel increases annually, business travelers are experiencing more worry about safety and security in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Consider the CWT Connected Traveler Study, which was conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel from March 30-April 24, 2017. The survey collected data from more than 1,900 business travelers between the ages of 25-65 from the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States), EMEA (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and APAC (Australia, China, India, Japan and Singapore). To participate in the study, business travelers were required to have made more than four business trips within the past 12 months.

Main sources of worry

The results found that while more than one-third (37 percent) of European travelers are concerned about safety and security, their counterparts from other regions worry more. Travelers from the Americas said that nearly half (47 percent) of the time they worry about safety and security, while Asia Pacific travelers worry the most (56 percent).

“Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travelers say they’re more worried about other things, and that’s surprising,” said Simon Nowroz, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s chief marketing officer. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times, but travelers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.”

One in five travelers has cancelled a trip due to concerns about their safety and security. And 30 percent say they’re worried about their health and wellbeing when it comes to traveling.

Surprisingly, terrorism only ranks fifth (35 percent) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks. “Forgetting something needed for work” ranked higher (40 percent), as did “losing something important” (38 percent), “being robbed or attacked” (37 percent) – and even “weather conditions” (37 percent).

Differences among travelers

The study revealed some intriguing regional differences between the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Only 7 percent of APAC travelers said they were “not concerned” about personal safety while traveling for business. That percentage rose to 12 percent for Americas travelers and 21 percent among EMEA travelers. This is reflected in the fact that APAC travelers appear to be better prepared, as more than half (52 percent) of APAC travelers maintain an up-to-date emergency contact profile compared to 38 percent in the Americas and only 34 percent in EMEA.

Feeling safer with technology

Interestingly, two-thirds (67 percent) of business travelers believe travel is safer today than in the past as they have more technology tools to stay aware of and mitigate safety concerns. Seven out of 10 travelers use at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveler tracking or emergency contact profiles. And more than two-thirds (68 percent) buy travel insurance.

APAC travelers are also more likely to sign up for notifications of real-time risks (41 percent). Only 33 percent do in the Americas, while only 29 percent do from EMEA. APAC travelers were also more likely to know ahead of time about local medical or security services providers. More than a third (35 percent) of APAC travelers planned for these services ahead, versus 25 percent in the Americas and 20 percent in EMEA.

“Today’s travelers are sophisticated,” said Nowroz. “They’re signing up for alerts, they’re paying attention to the news and they use the available tools at their disposal. So while travel may seem risky, they’re taking steps to stay safe.”

Source: Hotelnewsresource.com, Statista

 

The Unexpected Benefits of Traveling for Business

Traveling for business can be a drag, but it can also lead to both professional and personal growth. Here are some things you’re learning from your travels, whether you realize it or not.

You’re meeting new people.

Relationships are absolutely essential to the human experience. It can be pretty tough to nurture new ones when you’re around the exact same people every day, not all of whom you might enjoy the presence of completely. When you travel for business, you’re meeting new people all the time and learning from the experiences. A few may even turn into a great friend, significant other, or future employer.

You’re discovering great restaurants.

Eating on the road can be really bad or really good. If you’re into food from different places and cultures, traveling for business is a great way to experience meals in cities and towns you never would have otherwise. You may even be able to expense the cost back to the company! Before you hit the road, get online and research the best restaurants, food carts and hole in the wall diners around the country — or the world.

You’re creating new life experiences. 

In addition to great restaurants, traveling for work is also a great opportunity to see and do things you wouldn’t otherwise. Have you always wanted to try stand up paddle boarding? A hike through snow-capped mountains? Explore the Everglades? If you’re a history buff, it means limitless visits to museums and historical sites. Make sure to schedule room in the itinerary for some R&R, and then maximize it. Research the sites and attractions before your next road trip.

You’re getting great at packing.

Nothing makes a great traveler like frequent flying and hotel stays. Now you can pack for a week away with a moment’s notice. When you’re a business traveler who’s got packing down pat, you know how to prepare and travel like a pro.

You’re building up miles and perks.

Frequent traveling is an opportunity to build up lots of free personal miles using your own credit and airline cards—even if you get reimbursed for your trips. The more you fly and stay in hotels, the more likely you’ll also be eligible for elite and VIP status.

You’re honing your adaptation skills.

Successful travelers prepare well and know how to adapt and handle challenges when they arise, such as a delayed flight or hotel issue. You’re building problem-solving skills that can apply to every area of your life and learning how to be a more adaptable person.

You’re learning to prioritize health. 

If you’ve ever been sick on the road, you now know the importance of staying healthy when away from home. You know the importance of good nutrition, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, and working out to keep your strength up. Building up healthy habits will serve you in every area of your life.

You’re recharging out of the office.

While traveling for business can be a drag, it’s also a great way to get out of the office and break up the doldrums of the same old 9 to 5 work week. Next time you have a trip, make a point to see some sights and do something new and interesting to refresh your body and soul.

You’re setting yourself up to work remotely.

We live in a digital remote world, and those who successfully travel for business are proving they are effective even while traveling. You can use that to secure a telecommuting or virtual office job down the road because you’ve already proven you’re reliable out of the office.

You’ve got tax write-offs galore.

A smart traveler knows a good accountant and takes advantage of legal tax perks such as how to write off business class, food and entertainment when you’re traveling for work.

Source: Inc.com