March 19, 2013
, the world's leading medical and security services provider, and
, the global business risk consultancy, recently surveyed nearly 300 security, travel and HR managers, along with others. They cited civil unrest (22 percent), opportunistic crime (18 percent), and terrorism (16 percent) as issues that are of significant concern. Still, of those questioned, 78 percent reported that their companies had increased travel in 2012—and 59 percent expected it to increase further throughout 2013.
At the same time, businesses are expected to spend 4.6 percent more on travel than in 2012—bringing U.S. business travel spending
, according to the Global Business Travel Association. Both international travel and group travel are expected to rise in 2013.
"It's clear that global instability is still on the minds of those charged with the safety of their travelers and expatriates, but we're seeing that those concerns are no match for the opportunities now opening up with commercial opportunities further afield, including emerging markets and remote locations," said
, Group Executive Vice President for International SOS. "We're seeing a trend that's both positive and, apparently, long-term. There's no question businesses are allocating more money to their travel budgets."
Respondents to the survey cited the
as presenting the greatest risk to their employees (38 percent). Thirty-one percent of respondents cited Latin America. The responses were similar to those collected during the same period in 2012.
"Of course there are still areas in which it's a challenge to work, but businesses are savvy these days," added Daniel. "They're far better at preparing employees, keeping them connected, and ensuring their health and safety. Technology has brought us a long way, especially with the advance of travel tracking solutions, apps, and social media."