Tuesday 8 January 2019


“Permanxiety” is the latest buzzword in the global travel sector. It describes the near-constant state of anxiety felt by travellers; about everything from terrorism to racial tension, Trumpism to technology, and culture wars to climate change. And, according to global travel intelligence platform Skift (who coined the term) there’s a burgeoning belief that it could soon become the world’s new shared social experience.

Traveller anxiety: the new normal?
According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) more than half of business travellers feel that, nowadays, any destination could be high-risk, almost half are worried about terrorist attacks abroad, and over 20% classify North American and Western European countries as only “somewhat safe”.

Meanwhile, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives reports that a third of travel managers are seeing a rise in enquiries about business traveller safety.

Despite these worries, the global travel industry is booming: the GBTA anticipates a rise of more than 6% in corporate travel spend this year and the World Tourism Organisation predicts that, by 2030, five million people will be crossing international borders for leisure, business or other purposes - every single day.

In short, travellers are travelling more. But they are also worrying more about their travels.

Managing worries
Business travel risk management isn’t just about planning for emergencies, it’s also about reducing anxiety, or even 'permanxiety', for travellers. It’s about identifying and mitigating risks associated with every stage of a trip overseas, and helping travellers feel informed about, and supported during, real-time threats.

From pre-travel reports, training and intelligence gathering, to in-country travel tracking and real-time risk alerts, there’s no end of risk management products available to help prepare, inform and locate travellers overseas, and to reduce anxiety.

It’s all about providing access to these products in the most efficient way.  

Meeting expectations
In a recent GBTA survey, 44% of business travellers said they expected their employers to use tools like GPS to locate them in an emergency overseas. And at least two-thirds would expect their company to proactively contact them within two hours of an adverse event abroad.

There is an increasing hunger in the corporate travel sector for joined-up risk mitigation products that provide services like these, in the context of comprehensive risk management programmes; tailored to support travelling employees and meet duty of care obligations. All accessible in one place.

Employers should be able to harness integrated technology that enables them to anticipate employees’ medical and security threats abroad; to know exactly where employees are in relation to threats; and to counteract the dangers. They should be able to prepare staff for every eventuality, giving them access to one-source medical and security advice and emergency assistance, whenever they need it. And they should be able to reduce the anxieties and risks of not having these measures in place.

This post was written by Chris Knight, head of corporate assistance services at CEGA, a Charles Taylor Company and provider of global assistance, travel risk and claims management services.

CEGA and Solace Global Risk are exhibiting their one-source medical and security assistance service INtrinsic at the Business Travel Show on February 20th and 21st 2019, Stand B340.  Travel bookers, buyers and managers can register for a free pass here: https://www.businesstravelshow.com/register

1 comment: