The health and safety of your employees are essential aspects of their travel, especially abroad. While a business trip usually runs smoothly, no one is immune to the unexpected. In which case, you will need robust security procedures to be able to manage them in the best possible way.
Whether it is a question of the traveller’s personal health, travel in the field or local culture, a tour operator must ensure that its employees have all the necessary elements to remain safe abroad.
Here are all the tips you need to ensure the safety of your business travellers when they travel.
RISK ASSESSMENT AND DESTINATION RESEARCH
If your employees regularly travel around the world, here are some recurring scenarios for which you should be prepared:
Cultural misunderstandings. Make sure your travellers are familiar with the local culture to avoid any mistakes. It would also be wise for your collaborators to learn about culture and etiquette, and to assimilate some expressions so that their journey takes place with as few obstacles as possible.
Unfavourable weather conditions. Events such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes are common in some parts of the world. Prepare your travellers by informing them of possible weather warnings with applications and tools such as CWT Safety and Security.
Civil unrest. Political instability on the ground can affect business travel and put travellers at risk. Terrorism is an additional risk that can cause major disruptions. The best way to ensure the safety of your business trips is to follow our latest travel advice and use CWT Safety and Security for the country visited by your employee.
Unpredictable local laws. Consuming alcohol or smoking could be disapproved actions in some countries. In others, they may even be illegal. Remind your travellers that they represent your company during their trip, so avoid embarrassing or even more serious situations. Research local laws before your travellers accidentally interfere with them.
The lack of medical assistance. Travel can expose your employees to a number of illnesses and possible injuries. Keep your mind at ease by partnering with CWT business travel specialists, working with SOS International, the world’s largest medical prevention and security company for international travel.
PREPARE EMPLOYEES FOR AN INTERNATIONAL TRIP
If your business travellers travel to different countries, they will need access to key information at each stage of their journey. Ensure the safety of passengers by ensuring that they:
Have the right travel documents. Your employees will have to prove their right to enter other countries if they travel around the world. They will certainly need a passport, travel tickets and sometimes a visa. CWT partners with the visa services company CIBT to assist you in the sometimes laborious task of obtaining a visa for a foreign country, which is less stressful for the traveller. It is advisable to keep these essential documents (including insurance, hotel reservation confirmations and car rental details) in a safe place to avoid losing them.
Pack their bags properly. Once essential travel documents are set aside, there are other important items that your business travellers will need to take with them. From laptop chargers and mini-tablet adapters, there are many things they couldn’t think of until they needed them. Make sure they follow a baggage checklist.
Know where they need to go. It is essential that your employees have all the details about their destination. Travellers can put themselves at risk and waste valuable time by getting lost in a country with which they are unfamiliar, so give them all the direction information. Consider pre-booking a taxi from the airport to the hotel in the most unpredictable destinations.
Be aware of local customs. Knowing local protocols can help you avoid impoliteness and other blunders. Be sure to educate your employees about the importance of cultural differences.
Have key information at their disposal. Your employees need to know how to contact SOS International, local emergency services and someone within your company who can help in the event of a disruption or problem.
KEEP YOUR TRAVELLERS HEALTHY
If your employees do not feel fit on the road, they are unlikely to perform well during their meetings or to be able to produce quality work. Although health problems are difficult to predict, you can manage them in advance. Here are some health considerations to keep in mind when travelling, including:
The availability of medical services. Your travellers need to know where they can get medical assistance before they really need it. SOS International provides medical, clinical and safety assistance worldwide and can advise on how to deal with health problems, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Water and food. Enjoying the flavours of local cuisine is a prospect that will appeal to many travellers. However, some parts of the world may not have the same standards of hygiene as we are used to. Travellers should avoid street food and especially dishes such as salads, which may not have been properly processed, washed and prepared. Similarly, travellers should not take risks by drinking tap water and opt for bottled water instead.
Health risks and diseases. Overturned stomach, dizziness and prolonged exposure to sun and heat are some of the most common medical problems when travelling abroad. Be sure to choose the right over-the-counter treatments, and for that, establish your research in advance.
Ask your travellers to receive the necessary vaccinations before travelling to the country in question and to ensure that they have comprehensive travel insurance, including emergency medical repatriation, before they leave.
Your employees will probably use different means of transport during their business trip. Make sure your employees follow these tips for passenger safety when:
They drive. The car is often the easiest and fastest way to switch from point A to point B. If your employees are allowed to drive in the country in question, this is an option to consider. Travellers should ensure that they have their driver’s licence with them at all times and should book their vehicle with trusted rental agencies. Also, some destinations may have very different traffic rules than ours. Motorists could, for example, drive on the other side of the track. Roads can also be congested, making it difficult for the driver to travel, especially if he or she is tired of the trip. In this case, a taxi is a safer option.
They use the taxi. If your travellers need a taxi, make sure they use an honest and registered business. If possible, opt for pre-booking rather than getting into the first taxi you meet on the street.
They use public transport. On-site security levels vary greatly from city to city, even from one neighbourhood to another at certain times of the day. To ensure the safety of your business travellers, research the options available on public transportation or whether it is recommended to use a driver instead.
Sometimes your travellers may be so concerned about their meetings or conferences that they may overlook the preliminary stage of research on crime levels, safety standards or areas to avoid once they reach their destination. Be sure to raise their awareness on these topics:
The context. Whatever the internal problems in the country, it is essential that you keep your travellers informed. This way, they will be able to remain vigilant and avoid areas of unrest.
Crimes and the law. Some destinations are known to have high levels of crime for certain types of crimes. Pickpockets, for example. Find out quickly about the most common crimes on site to plan the necessary measures to protect business travellers, whether it’s using a guard or a secure place to store valuables.
Security training. Ensure the safety of your teams through risk prevention training, or training for personalized and specific safety measures.