How has travel risk management changed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Risk in the business travel landscape has grown drastically since
2020, due largely to the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict adding
to other uncertainties such as civil unrest and natural disasters. If
the industry is to bounce back, everyone – from corporates and travel
risk managers to meeting and event organisers – need to put in place
policies and procedures to ensure employees, or those working on behalf
of organisations, feel safe throughout their trip.
What’s ISO 31030?
The ISO 31030 travel risk management standard provides the first
global benchmark for those responsible for travel management, offering
clarity on best practice in delivering duty of care to employees. The
standard reinforces that corporates are responsible for their travelling
employees from the moment they leave home to the moment they return.
The ISO 31030 travel risk management standard provides the first global benchmark for those responsible for travel management, offering clarity on best practice in delivering duty of care to employees.
What are the key focus areas of the new standard guideline?
ISO 31030 contains a rich menu of practical considerations and
associated guidance. The risk reduction section encourages reasoned and
proportionate risk assessment and mitigation in relation to a wide range
of risks such as the booking process, the travel route, the
destination, the travel itinerary, and the selection of safe, secure
It also encourages organisations to have processes in place for
incident and emergency management, including medical and security
support, emergency contact points, and remote traveller tracking to
ensure employees feel safe and can focus fully on the job at hand.
In the case of event organisers, the vetting of venues is vital. The
venue should not pose any risks to the health and safety of those
entering the premises, so carrying out internal or external assessment
in advance is always advised. Organisers should consider the venue’s
size, the size and circulation of attendees, and the duration of the
event. They should also have knowledge of the proposed event activities,
the relevant site access, as well as any contingency plans to deal with
Once they have a clear understanding of the event itself, they will
need to visit the venue to carry out a preliminary internal/external
assessment to determine its suitability. This includes identifying the
location and frequency of emergency exits at the venue, reviewing its
existing health & safety policies, assessing the site’s proximity to
local amenities (hospitals, fire stations, public transport links,
etc.), and pinpointing any further potential risks or hazards, such as
unsound structures and features.
Time can be saved here if event organisers opt for venues that have
already received safety and security accreditation through a recognised
third-party assurance scheme.
What does the ISO 31030 mean to corporate event planners? Why should they be paying attention to this guideline?
Business meetings and conferences will remain an integral part of
operations for most organisations in achieving their objectives. The
Covid-19 pandemic has proved that travel can be substituted in some
cases; however, the benefits of travel, particularly in building
trust-based business relationships, cannot be overlooked. Corporate
meeting and event planners will therefore need to familiarise themselves
with and implement ISO 31030’s guidance if they are to make events
safer and more successful.
Never assume a given destination is safe. Be proactive in your assessment and management of health, safety, and security.
Most importantly, meeting the standard can help reduce legal and
financial risk if things go wrong during travel. But it also offers a
whole host of benefits to organisations, including:
- Fewer incidents of disruption, loss, harm or illness
- More productive and successful business meetings
- Greater traveller confidence, trust, and wellbeing
- Improved preparedness when incidents do occur
The new standard might seem daunting at first, but the core message
is simple: never assume a given destination is safe. Be proactive in
your assessment and management of health, safety, and security. Doing so
will not only empower your employees but give your organisation a
crucial competitive advantage.
Lee Whiteing is the commercial director of Global Secure Accreditation, a global leader in hotel security accreditation.