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Travel Risk Management: Ensuring Safe Journeys

A critical determinant of post-pandemic work mechanisms revolves around the gradual yet steady Back-to-Office guidelines, with employees across the business landscape transitioning from remote, then hybrid, and now to full physical work schedules. Employee commute, therefore, is subject to a host of operational challenges and difficulties which require close monitoring and subsequent mitigation. Further, relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions have also facilitated a full resumption of business travel and tourism, making travel risk management and risk mitigation essential. Travel Risk mitigation is a crucial component of Duty of Care obligations for employers, and with a plethora of evolving risks, our Travel Risk Management services aims to help clients identify, analyse, and finally alleviate or eliminate the impact of these risks.

 

What is Travel Risk Management?

Travel Risk Management is the process of identifying and assessing the risks that can arise during travel and the steps taken to mitigate the risk to ensure the welfare of employees.

A comprehensive travel risk management plan ensures that employees have smooth travel plans and are well-equipped to deal with emergencies and contingencies.

Travel Risk Management consists of both preventive and reactive steps to ensure overall safety. In line with the common adage “Prevention is better than Cure”, it is always preferred to imagine all possible risks and have elaborate plans to react to them or prevent them altogether.

The following things must be considered while building a comprehensive Travel Risk Management plan.

Before Travel: When planning for travel, it is crucial to conduct thorough research about the destination and the method of transportation. The research should include general information about the area, crime rates, susceptibility to natural disasters, methods of travel, emergency phone numbers, social unrest in an area, cultural differences, epidemics, requirements for entry, etc.

Many companies now create travel risk advisories that can help simplify this process. MitKat’s team of analysts help relevant stakeholders with travel advisories for business travellers consisting of detailed information about cities, the possibility of several types of risks like crime rates, useful applications, and emergency numbers.

Once a plan is prepared, it must be communicated with the employees in a streamlined manner. Apart from general awareness about the risk landscape of the destination, it is also essential that employees are trained in basic safety and self-defence.

Besides external threats, a good Travel Risk Advisory must also consider existing medical conditions of the traveller, and if the destination is equipped with the appropriate medical infrastructure to handle emergencies. The advisory must also account for possible health risks, training in first-aid response, and to equip the traveller with adequate medical kits.

There can also be regulations for vaccinations to enter a country. It is also important to gather information about the weather conditions in the area before travel to avoid unnecessary travel delays, as well as to pack according to the climate requirements. Accordingly, decisions should be made regarding the trip’s schedule and itinerary.

During Travel: Once the travel commences, the employee must be mindful of all the information gathered in the travel risk management plan. It is also important to note the differences one might come across in another country, like social etiquette, tipping culture, etc. One may also face issues considering factors like gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion.

The employee should also receive real-time alerts for them to be aware of the situations in the area and to take appropriate action in case of the development of an unfavourable situation. For example, in case of a riot near the location of travel, real-time alerts inform them about the situation expeditiously and help them make decisions to avoid the incident. Real-time alerts for natural disasters, weather forecasts, outbreaks of diseases, etc, help the employee and the company to take quick actions.

The employee should be able to contact an emergency response team that can guide them during the time of crisis. In case of injury to the employee during travel, adequate medical treatment and insurance should be taken care of.

Post Travel: Experiences faced by travellers are of primary essence to plan for future travel and can be used as case studies for trainings and planning. Documenting these incidents and preparing more robust travel advisories and incident response handbooks for the future is also a critical determinant of travel risk management.

Good Travel Risk Management plans are often rooted in detailed risk profiling and monitoring of evolving risks, apart from having set standards and guidelines. Keeping a close watch on high-impact and high-likelihood risks enables relevant teams to envision a very wide array of potential threats and create robust travel risk advisories. MitKat employs a comprehensive risk framework which combines technology and human expertise to provide clients resilient travel intelligence pre, during, and post-travel.

The Importance of Travel Risk Management

Safety First: The foremost priority of travel risk management is ensuring the safety of travelers. It involves proactive measures to prevent accidents and incidents that could lead to harm or injury.

Minimizing Disruptions: Unforeseen events such as flight cancellations, natural disasters, or political unrest can disrupt travel plans. Travel risk management helps in minimizing these disruptions and aids in swift recovery when they occur.

Cost-Efficiency: By proactively managing risks, companies and individuals can avoid unexpected costs associated with emergencies. This includes medical expenses, trip cancellations, or emergency evacuations.

Legal Compliance: Many businesses have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their employees during business travel. Non-compliance can result in legal consequences and damage to a company’s reputation.

Travel risk management is not just a buzzword; it’s a proactive approach to safeguarding your well-being during travel. By understanding the potential risks, taking preventive measures, and having a well-defined plan in place, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind. So, remember, whether you’re a frequent traveller or an occasional vacationer, travel risk management is the key to ensuring safe and worry-free journeys.

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