by Meetings & Conventions Asia | January 09, 2018
Bertrand Saillet, general manager at FCM Travel Solutions Asia

In 2017, the world witnessed a multitude of attacks in key cities like London, Paris and Barcelona, where many business travellers frequent. Even though terrorism and other adverse incidents cannot be predicted or avoided, business travellers should be able to rely on travel managers to ensure that their travel arrangements are organised from go to woe - cost-savings to safety.

To travel or not? 
  Travel managers and business travellers should always take note of the travel advisories issued by their home countries as these provide a genuine indication on how safe it is to travel to the desired destination. 

In the scenario where terror attacks strike, take stock of travel guidelines that can help to expedite travel and minimise disruptions. For instance, travellers intending to travel to the United States should consider Global Entry, a programme that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers. In addition, business travellers should consider changing their passports to biometric passports where possible, as it often allows for a quicker clearance upon arrival at most destinations.

Surviving an attack
It is important for travellers to stay alert, and respond quickly and appropriately in the event of a terror attack.

If caught in a critical situation, following Singapore's Police Force's "Run, Hide and Tell" advisory can help to increase chances of survival. Once the situation is safe, travellers should contact their loved ones and employers to reassure them of their safety through tools like Facebook's Safety Check feature or FCM's Mobile App. 

Being on high alert for every situation
As many companies continue to expand their businesses abroad, securing the safety of business travellers must be at the top of their priority in light of the global unrest. Businesses must establish an effective travel risk management to ensure traveling personnel safety and comfort. And no matter what the situation is - business travellers must always have an emergency preparedness plan on hand. The best solution to ensure their safety is to work hand-in-hand with a travel management company (TMC), even before embarking on their trip.

For travel managers, it is a must to uphold the duty of care for its travellers and be kept updated about their traveller's itinerary so that if any crisis is to occur, they are able to trace their whereabouts. Thanks to innovation in technology, employers and travellers now have access to mobile applications such as FCM Secure - a dashboard based solution that allows employers to stay connected with their travellers 24/7 and keep track of their whereabouts in real-time. Another key feature of the application is its high-level travel alert dashboard, designed to keep travellers updated with the latest incidents worldwide - categorised by severity level and risk types - and how their organisation is affected so they can make informed decisions about their upcoming travel plans.

This is a slightly abridged version of the article contributed by Bertrand Saillet, general manager at FCM Travel Solutions Asia.