Industry Leading ‘Travel Risk Map 2017’ Reveals Latest Travel and Medical Risk Ratings Worldwide, from International SOS and Control Risks

Organisations Take Control as Travel Risks Are Perceived to Rise

Perception vs. Reality:
Ipsos MORI Study
Reveals Latest Business Decision-Makers Views on Travel Risks

72% believe travel risks have increased over the past year ; 57%
anticipate further rise in risk levels

1/3 of organisations modified travel itineraries due to country risk

Nearly half (48%) report an increase in investment to mitigate risks

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–International SOS and Control Risks, two of the world’s leading medical
and security specialists, today launched the industry leading Travel
Risk Map for 2017. Providing a comprehensive overview of risks by
destination, the Travel Risk Map helps organisations and their mobile
workforce in their travel risk mitigation efforts. Last year this
resulted in almost ⅓ (32%) of decision-makers changing corporate travel

Rob Walker, Security specialist at International SOS and Control Risks
commented: “It is essential for decision-makers to have a reliable
source of objective information to help them implement travel risk
policies and individual travel plans. The extent of the preparation and
support employees need could be determined either by medical or security
risks, or by a combination of both. Companies need to take a
comprehensive view when preparing their employees for travel and
assignments abroad.”

“Events of 2016 have resulted in a sense of increasing challenges in
travel to places once thought secure. While risks are changing,
organisations must ensure their actions to mitigate those changes are
proportionate, and based on reality and not perception. Issues like
healthcare provision and road safety, which account for over 70% of the
assistance services we have provided in the past year, can often be
obscured by more prominent, but less likely issues. With many
organisations increasing their business travel activity, it is essential
for decision-makers to be able to communicate that objective advice to
their people, including in an actual crisis.”

“Keeping informed and taking into account all risk factors will enable
business travel to proceed successfully, resulting in a protected
workforce and business continuity.”

The Travel Risk Map 2017 is launched alongside a comprehensive Ipsos
MORI survey of over 1,000 business decision-makers, responsible for
their organisation’s travel risk mitigation in 75 countries,
representing in excess of 500,000 travellers globally.

Organisations Challenged to Take Control

Despite an increased perception of risk (72% of respondents), 44%
reported a rise in business travel activity in the past year and over
half expect further increase in 2017.

  • 80% of organisations modified travel itineraries in the past year due
    to health and security concerns.
  • Almost half of respondents (48%) say their organisations investment in
    travel risk mitigation has increased over the past year, and 47%
    believe this will increase further in the coming year. The top risk
    mitigation activities were:
Reinforced travel security measures   50%
Updated travel risk policy 45%
Introduced pre-trip advisory emails 39%
Implemented travel safety training 32%
Implemented programmes to locate travellers 25%
Provided pre-travel health programmes 22%
Invested in crisis communication systems 20%
Enforced use of mobile check in 15%
  • Business decision-makers report the greatest challenges in mitigating
    travel risks are:
Educating employees about travel risks   49%
Communicating during a crisis 47%
Tracking employee travel 42%
Confirming that employees have read pre-travel information 37%
Travel risk policy compliance 31%
Managing a crisis 31%
Business continuity planning 23%
Implementing a travel risk policy 23%
Confirming that employees have taken travel risk training 23%
Understanding legal obligations to travellers 22%
Management buy-in of travel risk policy 18%

Security Risks Higher on the Corporate Agenda than Healthcare

Dominating concerns on a global level are potential terror attacks
(71%), followed by the Zika virus (49%) and civil unrest (46%), with
inadequate healthcare and road accidents both at 15%. However, these
lesser considered, but more common, issues should also be taken

Dr Irene Lai, Medical Director of Information and Analysis for
International SOS, said: “It is vital for companies to familiarise
themselves and their travellers with the health risks associated with
travel and take measures to reduce those risks. While the Zika virus has
had extensive media coverage this year, common medical issues which
don’t make the headlines, such as traveller’s gastric issues or running
out of regular medication, are more likely and can destroy a business

“Road accidents are also a major issue and one of the top five causes of
medical evacuation. A number of countries showed significant improvement
in deaths from road accidents in the past year, but organisations should
be mindful that they remain a common major risk.”

Respondents take the following actions to mitigate risk when they travel:

Share itinerary with family and friends   59%
Research threats at destination 54%
Research vaccination requirements 42%
Research attitudes, cultures and practise of local population 42%
Protect against mosquito bites 36%

Rob Walker concludes, “Travellers are much less likely to encounter
unexpected or avoidable problems if they plan ahead. Using objective
advice to prepare travellers, and by staying up to date on any changes
and how they might affect plans, will further reduce, both the
likelihood of people experiencing problems, and the extent of the

View the Travel Risk Map at
International SOS and Control Risks will host webinars based on the key
global issues and emerging trends in December 2016. The webinars are
open to the public and you can register here.

1. International Travel: Risks and Reality: The New Normal for
is an Ipsos MORI research study conducted among 1,119
business decision-makers across 75 countries. Research was conducted
online using representative panels in the period October 6th to October
26th 2016.



International SOS
Suzanne Withers
t +44 (0)20 8762 8000