How do you currently identify global or regional travel risks and communicate them to affected travellers?
How long would it take you to communicate with at-risk travellers in an emergency, and make the necessary travel arrangements to ensure their safety?
About 18 months ago I had a “Travel Leakage Discussion” with a client that had an operation in Northern Africa. Travel leakage is a term we use for bookings that are made outside of the appointed Travel Management Company. In this particular operation, the bookings were made with a local overseas agency of whom my client had a long existing relationship with.
About four months after the discussion the unimaginable happened. There was serious incident on site and my client was unable to locate an employee. The overseas agency was closed and their operational centre phone lines were jammed as the company had activated its emergency crisis plan.
After a painful seven hours, the employee was located and returned home safe, and my client learnt a very important lesson. As their systems and protocols didn’t necessarily work overseas, they were exposed legally from a duty of care perspective.
Put yourself in that client’s shoes for just a second. Could you answer the two questions at the top of this article? If not, perhaps it’s time to review your company’s processes and map out your internal policy and procedures to your local duty of care legislation. To help, I’ve listed my top 5 tips for minimising traveller risk and fulfilling your duty of care obligations.
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5 Tips for minimising traveller risk
1. Implement a travel policy
When creating a travel policy specific to your company, you can prohibit bookings to certain countries/cities that are considered high-risk. You can also block certain air carriers/hotels/car rentals that may be riskier than others.
2. Get travel insurance
Missed flights, lost baggage and cancellations are not uncommon, so minimise stress by covering your travellers and their property with travel insurance.
3. Manage risk via booking process
With a pre-trip approval policy, tickets are withheld from travellers until they have completed each step of the approval process. This ensures travel managers and travel bookers have complete transparency over the bookings and can reject travel requests that may risk duty of care obligations.
4. Track your travellers
Traveller Tracker tools support business’ duty of care obligations by tracking travellers’ locations whilst in transit or at their destination, anywhere in the world. Updated in real-time and fully integrated with individual itineraries, these interactive tools enable businesses to pinpoint travellers, identify risks by a colour-coded global risk map, communicate with travellers in an emergency, and amend bookings and share updated itineraries at the click of a button. It’s peace of mind at your fingertips, 24/7.
5. Send alerts
Risk and alert tools provide pre-trip and in-trip risk assessments by automatically alerting you to incidents, issues and events that could affect your travellers’ safety. Alerts can be sent by SMS and/or email to travellers and travel arrangers, ensuring timely delivery to reduce risk.
Author: Salv Silvera, CTM’s General Manager, Western Australia.
If you’d like a confidential and obligation-free review of your travel program, contact CTM today on 1800 663 622 or complete the form below.