Online Exclusive: How Crowd-Sourced, Global Intel is Changing Travel Risk Management
- By Toby Houchens
- Oct 24, 2016
During this era of globalization, Fund For Peace classifies over 130 countries as unstable due to ongoing social upheaval, war, terrorism, or high levels of crime. Weather events, poor infrastructure, political demonstrations and transportation disruptions also contribute to the level of risk faced by travelers.
The business community is responding, by creating duty-of-care and corporate travel policies to protect their employees, clients and assets before an emergency happens. Travel risk management is a rapidly growing field. In the last 10 years, the number of dedicated Chief Risk Officers overseeing risk management in a company has increased by 89 percent. And global technology is making their jobs easier.
Crowd-sourced, global data provides granular, real-time information on occurring threats and events. Actual on-the-ground contributors report geo-tagged incidents that they witness or experience, as they are actually happening, resulting in more accurate, up-to-date information. Compared to archived, aggregated media data which can be delayed in reporting, this instant reporting is invaluable for both travelers and locals alike, in situations where mere minutes can make a difference in the decisions they make to stay safe.
But more than just threats, they can also validate the condition existing infrastructure, and report on the safety and security of the surrounding area. They can verify the accuracy of each other’s information, as well as the accuracy of travel risk analysts’ reports.
This results in an up-to-the-minute, hyper local database that can be used to assist businesses, governments, risk managers and travel agencies decide how they want to conduct business. Along with safety and infrastructure in an area, this data identifies key trends and events, and verifies the quality of potential vendors, partners and offerings in that area.
Is your company trying to plan a trip for your c-level executives? The company’s risk management or executive protection team can use this data to be sure the chosen hotel and the neighborhood it’s located in, is up to safety standards and in proximity to necessary infrastructure, such as transit, the airport, convention center, hospital and police station. They can also research what threats exist in the area and what type of crime might occur.
Does your company want to expand operations in an area or establish an expat community? Use this hyper local database to decide how to further build out and keep everyone connected with their people. Research whether you want to authorize dependents to travel there and decide what parts of the city you want to provide housing.
Do you have clients interested in going to Tonga? Or the Philippines? Or Venezuela? Is it an up and coming area? Use the crowd’s data to identify what kind of crime is happening there, and where it’s happening. Verify that the luxury hotel they choose is really a luxury hotel. If the hotel bills itself as “secluded,” see whether it’s truly remote or just has private areas fenced off/hidden from public view, but is still accessible to public transportation, nightlife and beaches.
Or maybe the local government of this up and coming tourist area is trying to promote themselves as safe and luxurious. They too can use this hyper local data to help market and promote the area, and identify crime occurring in the area. This will help them determine if and where to increase overt security and police presence to deter pickpockets or crack down on beach hotel scams.
These are just a few examples of what a geo-tagged, crowd-sourced travel risk management database can help your business accomplish. Use granular, on-the-ground and up-to-the-minute intel to plan a safer, smarter travel experience.