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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018, 11 : 14 AM [IST]

83% of female business travellers report safety concern or incident in past year

More and more professionals are travelling for business these days but many companies aren’t providing employees with important safety information before they leave.

Not surprisingly, a majority of women are concerned about security when they travel for work with 83% reporting that one or more safety-related concerns or incidents had occurred while travelling for business in the past year according to new research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with AIG.

“High levels of concern have a tangible impact on business travel for women,” said Amanda Cecil, Senior Vice President of professional development and research for GBTA. “Previous GBTA research has shown the immense impact travel experience can have on productivity and business results while on the road. Ultimately, all travellers want to be productive and get business done, so understanding the specific risks female travellers face on the road can allow travel buyers to play a critical role in addressing these concerns.”

A majority of female business travellers, 63%, think about safety always or frequently while travelling and concerns over safety have been escalating. The survey found that 45% of female travellers feel less safe or much less safe about travelling than they did five years ago.

Women also find information on staying safe on the road hard to come by, 84% said that their employers either did not provide travel safety tips/resources or that they weren’t aware of any such tools.

The biggest risks that concern women on the road involve theft and scams. 93% of women were concerned about pick pocketing and purse snatching; 86% were worried about credit card fraud; 63% are worried about identity theft, and 62% are concerned about taxi scams.

While the survey found that women do not receive safety tips from their employers, most do take precautions. 93% of female business travellers share their trip itinerary with a family member or friend, and 87% purchase travel insurance, emergency travel medical coverage or emergency evacuation coverage.

What Do Women Want From Travel Programs?

Other ways women can increase their safety while abroad include enrolling their trip in the State Department’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program, purchasing a SIM card or an international plan for your mobile phone, keeping money and a credit card in two separate places, avoiding fancy jewellery, booking flights that don’t land late at night when services may be closed and travelling with copies of your passport.

AIG also recommends using “we” when speaking to strangers, keeping your ears “clear” and avoiding the use of headphones, avoiding eye contact with men and trying not to look lost.

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