Businesses booking corporate travel for executives focus on every itinerary detail, from flights to accommodation, dinners to entertainment. But is risk mitigation considered when transfers between events are simply listed on the itinerary as “transfer by taxi” or “self-drive in hired car”, with executives left to their own devices to travel between arrangements, particularly in unfamiliar environments?
While the most basic duty of care is adhered to by simply not booking travel to high-risk areas, travel to any unfamiliar region leads to uncertainty and risk for even the most confident traveller. Factors that must be considered include:
- No matter how proficient a driver may be, road conditions vary from country to country, as do road signs and markings, and it’s unrealistic to expect someone to learn about and understand local road regulations every time they travel.
- Executives travel for business and need to be focused on their work. Having to navigate local public transport, roads or ride hailing services adds unnecessary stress and distraction to their day.
- Bad road conditions make for frustrated drivers, who often interpret the rules of the road to their own advantage – and a driver unfamiliar with this may come off second best in an altercation.
- Adverse road conditions lead to accidents, and while you may have the best travel insurance money can buy, it’s of no help if the medical professionals can’t get to an accident victim through chaotic or congested traffic.
- Has each executive been briefed on action to take if there is an accident or incident? For example, do they have the numbers of local law enforcement in their phone, do they know when its permissible to leave the scene of an accident or not – and is their phone able to roam effectively wherever they may be travelling?
“Preparing for travel abroad is about so much more than booking meetings, hotels and entertainment – companies have the responsibility to protect the health and safety of their travelling employees and to be prepared for and mitigate foreseeable risks while they are travelling,” says Jared Higgins, CEO of Secure Drive, an Arcfyre Group company.
Corporate travel agencies and in-house travel procurement teams can honour this duty of care by working with a secure passenger transportation service that offers the convenience of pre-booking and the peace of mind that comes with the services of knowledgeable, trained and vetted local drivers.
Executives who don’t have to worry about local transport challenges are also likely to have a less stressful, more peaceful, and more fruitful experience of a country, and a more productive business trip, if they can rely on a transport service provider that is well versed in local conditions and understands corporate travel requirements.
“It’s easy to overlook transfer arrangements and make them the responsibility of those travelling if you’re confident that they will be safe in every situation and will be equipped to deal with every possible incident,” Higgins adds. “However, for all the trips that proceed without incident, there’s likely to be one where something goes wrong, and the possibility of injury or death of an employee travelling for business because duty of care wasn’t taken into account in arranging secure, safe and vetted travel is simply too overwhelming to consider.”