Overwhelming majority, 92%, of German business travelers wished that their employee had given them information about possible health risks in their destination country. Only 43% see this request as fulfilled. These are the findings of a new study “Chefsache Business Travel 2015”, conducted by Travel Management Companies in the German Travel Association (Deutscher Reiseverband, DRV).
Only a few companies utilize offers such as information portals provided by business travel agencies, where employees on a business trip can get daily updated travel information for their destination.
It is quite commonplace in global economies that employees meet clients and business partners in foreign countries. About a quarter of all business travels worldwide lead to countries with health risks, for example a high spread of disease, poor medical care, or lack of clean water.
People who are traveling to Africa, Asia, or South America for business should get enough information prior and during their trip about any possible medical risks. According to the DRV study, 9 out of 10 business travelers wish that their company aids them in gathering such information. However, not even half of the employers follow that request. They expose their employees to an unnecessary high risk.
“It shouldn’t be a problem in the digital age to make information from all around the world available on a daily basis,” says Stefan Vorndran, chairman of business travel in the DRV. “Surprisingly few companies make use of it, even when it comes to such an important issue as the health of their own employees.”
Professional business travel agencies help companies to improve their information management. Through them, travelers have permanent access to all relevant information about the destination country, for example through their own online portals. Even at the time of booking, travel experts point to reliable sources that provide important health messages for the destination.
The business travel agencies advise companies how to handle travel risks professionally as well. If there is an acute crisis, such as an epidemic, specialists help with a localization of the traveler(s) and provide a quick overview about which employees reside in the affected countries or are planning a trip there.
“The professional support of experts also builds the image of the company,” says Stefan Vorndran. “It helps their business travelers feel safer.”
The study “Chefsache Business Travel” was carried out on behalf of the German Travel Association (DRV). 110 directors who regularly go on business trips as well as 110 business traveling managers and professionals from companies with 250 or more employees were interviewed for the study.