Where are your travelers right now? In today’s travel climate, just knowing what city or neighborhood they’re in isn’t enough. Traveler tracking can help.
Over the last decade, unfortunately, travel emergencies and major incidences have become more common. From air disasters to train crashes to terrorist attacks, there are risks associated with travel of all types — and business travelers are keeping them in mind.
A 2022 Global Business Travel Association study found that business travelers view terrorism as their greatest safety risk while traveling for work. This is followed by street crime, disease outbreaks, property crime, kidnapping and natural disasters. Furthermore, 25% of the respondents to the survey ranked 70% of the world’s emerging market destinations as either “unsafe” or “not safe at all.”
These risks and concerns have caused many companies to reevaluate their traveler safety and security programs, as one Business Travel News article from 2016 detailed. Have you done the same?
Here’s everything you need to know about how traveler tracking can help you stay informed of your business travelers’ whereabouts. Thereby avoiding unnecessary risks to both your employees and your company.
The Old Way of Traveler Tracking
In years past, many corporations would simply rely on itineraries in order to track their traveling employees. This, of course, comes with its issues.
If your traveler is gone for multiple days or even weeks at a time, just looking at an itinerary on a piece of paper doesn’t truly tell you where the traveler is. If something does happen and your traveler is unresponsive, you’re left trying to find out where they deviated away from the itinerary, how and why. It’s an unfortunate game of detective that’s both costly and dangerous.
Luckily, as the same Business Travel News article linked above noted, in recent history, more organizations are moving away from merely relying on itineraries. Instead, they are implementing policies that require travelers to routinely check in with someone else on the staff. This ensures that they’re okay and actually following the itinerary. This helps better create a timeline in the event that something does go wrong. Organizations are enabled to at least pinpoint traveling employees’ locations within the last 24 hours.
Modern Traveler Tracking
With the advent of GPS tracking and mobile usage, though, traveler tracking has further entered the modern age. Traveler tracking is easier and more convenient for organizations and employees alike. Travelers can check in and provide their location with a simple touch of a button, both routinely and in the event of an emergency. Traveler tracking can also be taken further, with constant GPS monitoring that shows a traveler’s exact location, minute by minute.
Geofencing is also an option, allowing you to set a geographic boundary around a traveler’s device. Then, you’re alerted when a traveler takes the device outside of a specific area.
The Issues with Traveler Tracking
Of course, the above Business Travel News article also acknowledged that traveler tracking does come with its issues. Those issues are the same today as they were when the article was published in 2016.
Most traveler tracking solutions rely on mobile devices, and mobile devices are hardly foolproof. A traveler can leave their cell phone on a plane, train, or in their hotel room. They can forget to charge their mobile device, or the mobile device can break.
Beyond this, there can be legal issues around traveler tracking if you’re not tracking a company-owned device.
Additionally, just like with all aspects of corporate travel policies, traveler tracking requires traveler buy-in. If your travelers aren’t compliant with your corporate travel policies overall, they’re not likely to do their part to ensure that your traveler tracking methods actually work (i.e., ensuring they have their mobile device on them, charged, at all times).
Challenges Aside, You Still Have a Duty of Care
These challenges can make some executives want to forgo traveler tracking altogether. However, it’s worth realizing that, regardless of the challenges, you do still have a duty of care to your travelers.
Just like you’re responsible for ensuring that your office or other work environment is safe for your employees. You’re likewise expected to ensure that your travelers are safe when they’re traveling on your behalf for the company’s work. While not the case in every country, in some countries, this responsibility is a legal one.
That said, even if you’re in a country where you have no legal obligation to ensure your employees’ safety while they’re traveling for business, it’s still a smart idea to put their safety front and center. If a traveler feels unsafe while on their business trips, that can not only impact productivity but also morale and company culture.
How a TMC Can Help
Providing traveler tracking and risk management systems to your traveling employees can be a giant undertaking. This is particularly the case if you have nothing like this set up currently and you’re building this facet of your travel program from scratch. That’s where a TMC can help.
With ample experience in travel risk management, a vetted and qualified TMC can manage your travelers’ travel risks from the start of trip planning and all the way through a trip. This might include helping to create an appropriate travel policy, ensuring compliance, traveler tracking, and providing emergency security services. And even being available to travelers for assistance 24-7 and providing training for employees as needed.
For travel managers looking to fulfill their duty of care responsibilities, specific risk management teams like those at Crisis24 can likewise help. Crisis24, a JTB BT partner, offers risk management services that can help you track, monitor and protect your team; crisis response solutions; and more. Using a state-of-the-art platform that’s trusted by a range of top organizations around the globe, including JTB. Crisis24 is a JTB Business Travel trusted partner.
Need more info?
Learn about JTB Business Travel’s duty-of-care services that include pre-trip information and preparation, traveler tracking and real-time alerts. Our traveler tracking tools allow you to track your travelers 24-7. You can provide immediate assistance and security to your company’s most valuable asset — your talent — as needed.
If the worst happens, you’ll be glad you invested in traveler tracking and risk management resources.