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Almost one third of corporate buyers see Europe as high risk

30 per cent of European corporate travel managers think Europe is among the highest risk destinations in the world, according to new research

Pictured: Recent attacks have made buyers more wary of sending travellers to Europe

Almost one in three European corporate travel managers believe Europe is among the highest risk destinations in the world, according to new research.

In a recent poll of 230 buyers, 30 per cent chose the continent as one of three territories they believe pose the highest risk to their travellers. The poll, undertaken by Business Travel Summit Amsterdam, asked ‘Which territories do you believe present the highest threat to your travellers?’ with each buyer asked to nominate three from a drop-down list.

The results were as follows:
·       61 per cent     Middle East and North Africa
·       43 per cent     West Africa
·       34 per cent     Central Africa
·       33 per cent     South America
·       30 per cent     Europe
·       17 per cent     South Asia
·       9 per cent       Central Asia

“It’s not surprising to see the Middle East and Africa among the territories European travel managers believe present the highest risk to their travellers, or that some have stopped sending travellers to those destinations,” said David Chapple, group event director for Business Travel Summit Amsterdam.

“But, despite the recent terrorist attacks in London, Paris and Barcelona, it was still a surprise for me to see Europe on that list. Being wary – and aware – of the risks posed in all territories is, sadly, simply a sign of the times and that’s why it’s so important for organisations to have a traveller risk strategy in place.”

When asked which territories they had either stopped – or planned to stop – sending travellers to, the top three responses were Middle East and North Africa (36 per cent), Central Africa (30 per cent) and West Africa (25 per cent), while 7 per cent said Europe.

Terrorism was cited as the number one fear driving this behaviour by over half of travel managers (56 per cent). This was followed by civil/political unrest (18 per cent), general safety concerns including crime (13 per cent), gun control (2 per cent) and Islamophobia (1 per cent). 

The poll was undertaken by Business Travel Summit Amsterdam, which takes place 26-27 September at the city’s RAI Conference Centre.

The survey also revealed that, despite 84 per cent of travel managers claiming they see the duty of care for travellers as their responsibility, only 78 per cent could confirm they have a traveller risk strategy - while 7 per cent do not know whether one exists for their organisation.

Of those organisations which do have a traveller risk strategy, more than half (52 per cent) include extra consideration for single women travellers. 27 per cent do the same for LGBTQ travellers. 64 per cent renew their strategies at least once a year and 40 per cent include scenario training. For 15 per cent of organisations with a strategy, that strategy has been in place for less than 12 months.

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