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Business travellers manage their own risks

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Companies care for the safety of their employees when they’re travelling — but they are still falling down on providing the support needed to make workers completely safe.
A new Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation report released today found that more than three-quarters of business travellers in the UK, Germany and France agree that their organisations care about their safety while travelling for work.
Conducted in partnership with Concur, the How Traveller Booking Behaviour Impacts Safety study, also found risk management services supporting business travellers are still far from comprehensive and universal.
“During these times of global uncertainty, business leaders have a responsibility to know where employees are and keep them safe and informed,” says Scott Torrey, chief revenue officer at Concur. “One of the most surprising results of the study is that more than half of business travellers know that not booking through company channels can affect their safety but a majority still book outside.
“This means that companies need to put a stronger focus on safety, and I firmly believe duty of care is one of the most important things a business can do for its employees.”
Business travellers in the UK, Germany and France agree organisations care about their safety. In fact, the GBTA Foundation found that in an emergency or security event, business travellers overwhelmingly expect their company to proactively contact them, with at least two-thirds expecting their company to do so within two hours.
However, two-thirds of business travellers acknowledge that not booking through company channels can affect their safety by making it more difficult for their company or TMC to locate and contact them in an emergency. The irony is that roughly seven out of 10 travellers booked outside of company channels at least once in the past year, even when they had a TMC or access to an OBT.
This suggests organisations could be doing more to protect employees with risk management services and technologies and better educating on the services and policies in place to support employees travelling on business.
The report uncovered several other travel risk management trends among UK, German and French business travellers.
* Direct bookings. In the last year, nearly half of business travellers used a corporate online booking tool (OBT). However, nearly 70%of business travellers whose company uses a TMC say they booked at least one business trip directly with a supplier in the last year. Fewer than 40% say their organisation has a system in place to capture travel plans and itineraries booked directly with suppliers.
* Traveller locating. Travellers expect their companies to use a range of information to quickly locate them during an emergency or security event including travel itineraries (53%), GPS information from employer-provided smartphone apps (44%) and expense report information (32%).
* Traveller services: Less than half of German business travellers (49%) say that their organisation provides them with an assistance hotline in case of an emergency while there are more business travellers in the UK (57%) and France (65%) that have access to an emergency hotline provided by their company.
* Training and resources. More than one-half of business travellers report their organisations provide travel safety trainings, but there’s a consensus that more would be helpful. Some 61% of travellers expressed interest in group and one-on-one trainings, and the majority — approximately 65% — would prefer to receive several trainings each year.
“Over three years of tracking booking data, a majority of business travellers who had access to an OBT consistently say they booked directly with a supplier or with an OTA in the past year, meaning their company may not have had access to their travel data,” says Monica Sanchez, director of research for the GBTA Foundation. “Missing or incomplete booking data can greatly hinder a company’s ability to care for their travellers as it plays a key role in duty of care — enabling virtually every risk management function that companies perform.”
In response to growing travel risk management challenges, Concur introduced Concur Locate and Active Monitoring earlier this year.