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Has business traveller safety become more important than ever?

Reed & Mackay Hall: BTSE Stand: K50
Has business traveller safety become more important than ever?

Welcome to the latest instalment of ‘The View’ – where we ask Reed & Mackay experts to share their ideas and insights around a topical issue affecting the business travel and event sectors and highlight solutions.

This month we ask Reed & Mackay Operations Director Tanya Michaud why robust planning for the safety of business travellers remains high on the agenda for corporate travel buyers, what has led to its increased focus and how Reed & Mackay provides organisations with support.

Why should traveller safety be a priority for organisations?

Organisations have a duty of care to their staff when they are travelling for business. They must ensure travellers are supported and have access to the necessary information and resources to ensure their trips are risk free.

So this means they must have robust business continuity plans and risk management policies in place to manage those risks that pose a threat to the safety and security of their people while travelling.

Hasn’t this always been the case? Or has the importance of traveller safety increased recently?

The continuation of the Ukraine war and rising tensions in the Middle East have seen the world become more complex. Naturally these have contributed to organisations placing a greater emphasis on traveller safety.

Extreme weather events have also become more frequent and greatly affect traveller mobility. We saw this with the recent floods in Dubai, when the heaviest storms for 75 years and the subsequent flash floods hit, a rare occurrence in the emirate state. This led to hundreds of flights being grounded and thousands of travellers becoming stranded.

And, last summer, we saw a number of fierce forest fires and a rise in unhealthy air quality in the US and Canada. This affected New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other key cities where a lot of our travellers visit.

Furthermore, we’ve seen a lot of strike action across Europe in the last 12 months. Organisations are becoming more conscious about the impact these are having on their employees’ travel. Especially as it’s not just train or air travel that’s affected; these inevitably lead to congestion on the roads.

Traveller tracking plays an important role in ensuring business traveller safety

Have organisations requested new services to ensure traveller safety?

Yes, organisations are increasingly placing an emphasis on traveller tracking and risk management reporting. While the increase in reporting requests has been universal, the specific solutions and support organisations have requested has varied based on the size and scale of their travel operations.

How does Reed & Mackay support organisations with risk management?

We have multiple processes in place to support organisations. Our 24/7 global Incident Management Unit monitors incidents across numerous sources. These include notifications from our suppliers and social media. Additionally, we receive daily updates from our risk management partners. Relevant alerts are distributed to our clients through R&M Protect and email.

Traveller tracking is also available through R&M Protect. Clients can view the exact location of their travellers on an interactive risk map. Messages can be shared with travellers located in specific regions. For example, following the recent Bondi Junction attack in Sydney, an alert was sent out to clients early that Saturday morning and updated alerts were sent out during the day. We also contacted travellers who were in Sydney to check they were safe and if they needed any assistance. 

All clients’ travellers were reported as safe, with many contacting Reed & Mackay to show their thanks for the communication.

In addition, we share risk reports based on guidance from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Clients can tailor the reports based on their usual travel routes or future trips. Additionally, if travel is booked to a country on their risk report, they receive an alert informing them of this.

This is not an exhaustive list, and we can support organisations of all sizes with tailored solutions, such as how to mitigate potential risks if travelling to a destination during a high-profile event, such as the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Get in touch

Mail to discuss your travel management needs.

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