Safety while traveling is a real concern these days, but risk management in Germany, France and the UK is more of an aspiration than a reality, according to new research today from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.
The study, conducted in conjunction with Concur, found that half of business travelers in those countries agreed that booking outside company channels can make it more difficult for their company to locate or contact them in an emergency.
But they do it anyway.
Over the last year, more than three out of five travelers booked outside policy at least once. Access to an online booking tool doesn’t seem to make any difference.
Some travelers make an effort to let their companies know where they are when they book through alternative channels.
Nearly half the UK travelers and 44% of the German travelers said they forward rheir itineraries to someone in the organization; only 24% of the French travelers do.
Most of the French respondents (57%) said the only way their companies find out where they’ve been is through their expense reports. That belief is less prevalent among the German travelers (37%) and the UK travelers (40%).
There seems to be a disconnect between what business travelers in the three countries expect from their companies in a crisis and what they are willing to do to make it happen.
At least two-thirds of travelers in each country would expect their company to proactively contact them within two hours of an emergency.
But SMS and mobile apps are only useful when companies know where their travelers are and have up-to-date contact information, and quite a few travelers — 16% of the Germans, 22% of the French and 25% of the UK travelers — said they didn’t think their companies were able to capture their travel plans..
Monica Sanchez, director of research for the GBTA Foundation, said:
“Many companies use booking data to send travelers alerts about their destination, to locate them in an emergency, to brief first-time or infrequent travelers about assistance resources available and to flag high-risk trips to ensure proper vetting. Missing or incomplete data can greatly hinder a travel manager or TMC from meeting their duty of care responsibilities.”