Hong Kong, an international business center, has been rocked over the past several months by demonstrations against the Chinese government and that government’s response. For business executives who continue to have to travel to the city, the situation has heightened awareness of a problem that continues to grow.
When business travelers hit the road, they face many risks. Political instability or becoming ill while abroad and navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system are just some of the concerns employees may need assistance with from their company when traveling for business.
A 2017 study by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives on how geopolitical issues affect travel found that of the 239 corporate travel managers surveyed, 56 percent said they had seen an increase in reports of heightened personal safety concerns.
Clearly, it is paramount for businesses to get proactive about assisting employees with secure travel. Any business with employees that need to travel must have plans and protocols around how their executives, managers and employees will be able to do it safely and securely. This needs to encompass not only assistance in the event of injury or illness, but employee travel services affecting the safety and comfort of travelers.
Ray O’Hara, an executive vice president with AS Solution, an SOS Security subsidiary and provider of corporate executive protection, has been helping organizations ensure their executives travel safely for decades. AS Solution employs a global network of security providers with the mission of enabling their clients to travel and do business safely, worldwide. AS manages more than 100 trips outside the U.S. monthly, in about 100 countries. O’Hara spoke with ISC News for his top takeaways on what companies need to consider when it comes to keeping employees safe while they are traveling.