Recently conducted research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that while more than one-third (37 percent) of European travellers are concerned about safety and security, their counterparts from other regions worry more, travellers from the Americas say that they worry about safety and security nearly half of the time (47 percent), while Asia Pacific travellers worry the most (56 percent).
“Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travellers say they’re more worried about other things – and that’s surprising,” said Simon Nowroz, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s chief marketing officer. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times – but travellers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.”
Terrorism only ranks fifth (35 percent) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks. “Forgetting something needed for work” ranked higher (40 percent), as did “losing something important” (38 percent), “being robbed or attacked” (37 percent) – and even “weather conditions” (37 percent).
The CWT Connected traveller survey of more than 1,900 individuals found that two-thirds (67 percent) of business travellers believe travel is safer today than in the past, as they have more tools to mitigate safety concerns. Seven out of ten travellers use at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveller tracking or emergency contact profiles. And more than two-thirds (68percent) buy travel insurance.
The study did reveal several findings of concern. For example, one in five travellers has cancelled a trip due to concerns about their safety and security. And 30 percent say they are worried about their health and well being when it comes to traveling.
The study revealed some intriguing regional differences between the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). For example, only 7 percent of APAC travellers said they were “not concerned” about personal safety while traveling for business. That percentage rose to 12 percent for Americas travellers and 21 percent among EMEA travellers. This is reflected in the fact that APAC travellers appear to be better prepared. For example, more than half (52 percent) of APAC travellers maintain an up-to-date emergency contact profile compared to 38 percent in the Americas and only 34 percent in EMEA.
APAC travellers are also more likely to sign up for notifications of real-time risks (41 percent). Only 33 percent do in the Americas, while only 29 percent do from EMEA. APAC travellers were also more likely to know ahead of time about local medical or security services providers. More than a third (35 percent) of APAC travellers planned for these services ahead, versus 25 percent in the Americas and 20 percent in EMEA.
“Today’s travellers are sophisticated,” said Nowroz. “They’re signing up for alerts, they’re paying attention to the news and they use the available tools at their disposal. So while travel may seem risky, they’re taking steps to stay safe.”