Pandemic has brought ‘New Emphasis’ on Risk Management

The pandemic has brought a new emphasis on risk management, the Business Travel Association (BTA) conference heard.

American Express Global Business Travel senior vice president Jason Geall said: “We’ve found it much easier for people to understand why they should work in a managed travel environment [and] we’re seeing a lot less ‘leakage’. Health and safety now is very much front of mind.”

Clarity Travel chief executive Pat McDonagh agreed: “Clients are now more than ever prepared to discuss risk management. At times before there was a tendency to tick a box.”

Lloyd Figgins, chief executive of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group, urged the sector “to go beyond the duty of care” to travellers, arguing: “The travel risk management industry dropped the term 10 years ago. Duty of care is a legal term that imposes civil liabilities. I would talk about responsibility and the welfare of travellers.”

Figgins also warned the BTA: “Hackers have been exceptionally busy in lockdown honing their skills, and states are hacking on a massive scale.

“Cybersecurity is really high risk and you’re most vulnerable when you travel. People take multiple devices with them and few corporates enforce their own cybersecurity policy. Travellers log-on to hotel WiFi, making themselves vulnerable.”

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