Reworking travel risk management

With International travel now more complex than pre-pandemic times, International SOS' Xavier Carn and Riskline's Emanuele Scansani propose a few things for travel manager to take note of when managing travel risks

There are many considerations now when it comes to business travel

Constantly-changing travel restrictions and a lack of a standardised approach to entry requirements have dealt travel managers a tough hand, giving them increased responsibilities when it comes workforce risk management.

For travel managers looking to navigate this sea of uncertainty around travel, representatives of International SOS and Riskline have proposed a checklist, which was shared during an IT&CM Asia 2021 session, A Holistic Look at Workforce Risk Management.

There are many considerations now when it comes to business travel

Get updated frequently
It is wise for travel managers to update their travel policies frequently and stay informed of current regulations on travel restrictions. Proactive monitoring of security triggers is critical now and into the near future, as vaccine rollouts and entry guidelines vary from country to country and can change at a snap.

Keep travellers prepared and informed
Pre-empt employees on what could happen on the ground during their travel assignments, and provide a list of restrictions and regulations in the country they are travelling to.

Rely on authoritative sources
Due to a rise in scams related to vaccine and Covid-19 treatment, travel managers must be critical in their choice of information sources. Rely on government websites for information on vaccinations and specialised websites that have been vetted and corroborated.

Rethink the travel risk management programme
International travel is no doubt more complex than pre-pandemic. Travel managers must now consider factors such as the complexity of the regulatory environment which includes entry requirements and guidelines, legal ramifications of Covid-19 prevention, and the legal dimension of personal privacy and the potential for discrimination.

It is not uncommon to see work trips requiring a higher level of approval, to the point of getting the green light from the company CEO, or board of directors.

With duty of care for employees and travellers more critical than ever, travel managers should consider redesigning, rebuilding or strengthening their travel risk management programme to take in new-normal considerations.

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