Impact Publications : MICEBTN_66
Page 14 • MICEBTN - MARCH- MAY 2017 Terrorism is the biggest risk to traveller safety, say 45 per cent in new GBTA Foundation study BUSINESS travellers believe ter- rorism is the greatest safety risk they face on the road, according to a new study released by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Almost half (45 per cent) rank it as their greatest concern when travel- ling for business, much higher than those who fear street crime (15 per cent), illness/disease outbreaks/sani- tation (13 per cent), property crime/ theft (12 per cent), kidnapping (eight per cent) or natural disasters (six per cent). “We often talk about the resilience of the business travel industry in the face of terror threats, economic un- certainty, political unrest and other factors,” said Michael McCormick, GBTA executive director and coo. “Keeping travellers safe on the road is a prime responsibility for travel professionals. Understanding the road warriors’ fears and anxi- eties about business travel as well as communicating the available risk protocols and assistance services can go a long way in building an ef- fective risk management program.” Many respondents say they are wary about business travel in the emerging world with seven out of 10 emerging market destinations ranked ‘unsafe’ or ‘not safe at all’ by at least 25 per cent of US- based respondents. Business travellers generally feel developed cities in North Ameri- ca and Western Europe are safe for business travel, with all of the mature markets ranked ‘somewhat safe’ at least by more than eight in 10 US-based business travellers. However, at the same time, the percentage who only rate these same destinations as ‘somewhat safe’ rather than ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ is relatively high, exceeding 20 per cent for each desti- nation. This could reflect the fairly common view in today’s world that any destination can be high-risk. Survey respondents were asked to rate the safety of 16 specific destinations for business travel ranging from domestic to interna- tional and ‘developed’ to ‘developing’. The results show business travellers not only view ter- rorism as a safety threat they face on the road, but they also agree it has an impact on the business travel industry more broadly and can change the frequency or ways people travel. When rating this impact on a 10-point scale, business travellers give terrorism an average rating of 7.6, with 60 per cent rating it an eight or higher. This implies terrorism is more im- pactful than disease outbreaks, cor- porate budget cuts or the effects of the global economy. While one-third (37 per cent) of business travellers feel safe regard- less of the destination, more than half (52 per cent) feel safer when travelling domestically compared to internationally. Baby Boomers are most likely to feel safe when they travel both domestically and interna- tionally. In the past year, 30 per cent of business travellers have travelled for work to a destination they or their organisation consider to be high-risk. Millennials (37 per cent) are more likely to have travelled to such a destination, compared to Gen-X travellers (27 per cent) or Baby Boomers (25 per cent). When it comes to attitudes about high-risk travel, more than half (57 per cent) of business travellers feel that nowadays any destination could be high-risk, with Baby Boomers least likely to hold this view. In addition, almost half (48 per cent) of business travellers would avoid travelling to certain high risk destinations even if it hurt their ca- reer, compared to 31 per cent who disagree. Younger travellers are more likely to worry that if they refuse to travel to high-risk destinations, it could reflect poorly on their career. ‘The Risk on the Road: Safety and Security Concerns Lead to Traveler Behavior Change’ report is available free for GBTA members. Non-mem- bers may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation. org.