In a recent reserach, Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that while more than one-third (37 per cent) 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 per cent), while Asia-Pacific travellers worry the most (56 per cent).
“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 per cent) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks. “Forgetting something needed for work” ranked higher (40 per cent), as did “losing something important” (38 per cent), “being robbed or attacked” (37 per cent) – and even “weather conditions” (37 per cent).
The CWT Connected Traveler survey of more than 1,900 individuals found that two-thirds (67 per cent) 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 (68 per cent) buy travel insurance.
The study did reveal several findings of concern. For example, one in five travellers have cancelled a trip due to concerns about their safety and security. And 30 per cent say they are worried about their health and wellbeing when it comes to travelling.
The study revealed some regional differences between the Americas, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
For example, only seven per cent of APAC travellers said they were “not concerned” about personal safety while travelling for business. That percentage rose to 12 per cent for Americas travellers and 21 per cent among EMEA travellers. This is reflected in the fact that APAC travellers appear to be better prepared. For example, more than half (52 per cent) of APAC travellers maintain an up-to-date emergency contact profile compared to 38 per cent in the Americas and only 34 per cent in EMEA.
APAC travellers are also more likely to sign up for notifications of real-time risks (41 per cent). Only 33 per cent do in the Americas, while only 29 per cent 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 per cent) of APAC travellers planned for these services ahead, versus 25 per cent in the Americas and 20 per cent 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.”