Safety and security a worry for Asia-Pacific business travellers

November 09, 2017
Sydney airport master plan
Sydney airport expects strong growth. Photo: Sydney Airport.

Asia-Pacific business travelers are the world’s worriers when it comes to travel safety and security but their counterparts in Europe remain unfazed despite a string of terror attacks.

A global survey of 1900 passengers across 16 countries by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found 56 per cent of travelers in the Asia-pacific were worried about safety and security compared to just 37 per cent in Europe.

Travelers from the Americas fell in between, with 47 per cent expressing concerns.

Surprisingly, terrorism ranked  fifth (35 per cent) among  travelers’ concerns, beaten by “forgetting something needed for work” (40 per cent), “losing something important” (38 per cent) and “being robbed or attacked” (37 per cent).

More people (37 per cent) were worried about the weather than  were concerned about being the victims of terrorism.

“Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travelers say they’re more worried about other things – and that’s surprising,” CWT chief marketing officer Simon Nowroz said. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times – but travelers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.”

The survey found more than two-thirds of respondents believed travel was safer today than in the past.

One reason for this was that they believed they had more tools to handle safety concerns. Seven out of ten travelers used at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveler tracking or emergency contact profiles, and 68 per cent bought travel insurance.

However, one in five had cancelled a trip due to safety concerns and almost a third said they were worried about the impact of travel on health and well-being.

Asia-Pacific travelers were the most likely to be prepared for a problem, with more than half maintaining an up-to-date emergency contact profile.

They were also more likely to subscribe to real-time risk notifications and know ahead of time about local medical or security issues.

But not everybody in the Asia-Pacific was a worrier: only 25 per cent of Australian business travelers said they were concerned or very concerned about safety and security.