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More and more international corporate companies are expanding their businesses into emerging markets in Africa, South America, as well as the Middle and Far East. Although most countries are relatively safe for business visitors, the number of destinations which are medium, high to very high risk is growing.
Crime plus political and social unrest in many of these regions is a reality. For example, kidnap patterns in Africa indicate that employees of international companies are clearly in the kidnappers’ sights. Attacks in northern Kenya bordering South Sudan are frequently conducted by terrorist groups, as are the kidnapping of Western nationals in the oil regions around the Niger Delta. Not that Europe has escaped the terrorists’ touch. London, Brussels, Paris … the list goes on.
By choosing a respected travel management company (TMC), corporate travel managers have the proven expertise of dedicated consultants who help them understand the on-the-ground realities of where their employees are travelling and can plan accordingly. If the level of danger is high, the TMC consultant may recommend the services of a travel security company with intimate knowledge of the region. Travel security companies will, if required, provide professional bodyguards and/or drivers.
The TMC will assist the travel manager in the development of travel security and incident management policies. These policies include the provision of protection services such as evacuations and medical treatment. These policies must be continuously updated to reflect the dynamic, ever-changing international social, economic and political landscape.
It’s imperative that business travellers know, understand and adhere to their company’s policies and processes.
Before embarking, travellers must have all the relevant contact information, including the 24/7 TMC assistance number for personal, expert support when he or she is in desperate need.
Corporations, in partnership with a hands-on TMC, must know where their travellers are at all times, especially when visiting areas of high risk. Duty of care is not just about making sure travelling employees arrive safely at their destinations. It also ensures that corporations have managed the safety risks of their employees throughout the entire trip.
Wherever employees travel, chances are they will have a less stressful, and more productive business trip if the company partners with a TMC that knows the destination’s local conditions, requirements and cultures, and how best to respond should any type of incident occur.