Research reveals shortfalls in hotel safety planning

Hotel safety
2 min read

The business travel landscape continues to rapidly evolve, with security threats constantly emerging in new locations, businesses expanding into developing markets, and accommodation options multiplying.

But according to a new guide from ACTE Global (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) and International SOS, “Hotel Safety: A Guide to Staying Safe for Employers & Travellers”, many corporate travel programmes are unprepared to address the unique safety challenges associated with their accommodation policies. In fact, Ipsos MORI data finds that just 19% of organisations implemented safety and security checks for accommodations in 2017

“Hotel security is an often-overlooked component in Duty of Care,” said Greeley Koch, executive director of ACTE Global. “It simply is not enough to create security policies based only on air travel and location-based threat assessments. Even some places we would consider ‘safe’ have experienced serious terrorist attacks on hotels. Travel managers must understand the importance of making sure their travellers are safe at every stop on their itinerary, from the airport to the convention centre to the hotel.”

James Wood, Security Director at International SOS and Control Risks added, “Organisations are increasingly sending travellers to higher risk locations, but security and safety considerations are not keeping pace with commercial priorities. Businesses across industries are growing their footprints in medium to extreme risk destinations, but the majority of decision makers are not taking the time to implement hotel safety and security checks.”

Key findings and case studies from the guide include:

Inadequate hotel safety programmes lead to negative business outcomes…

Overall, the guide finds that failing to implement hotel security checks, not only affects traveller wellbeing – it can also be costly. Litigation and damages can have a significant impact on businesses’ bottom line, whether or not a case is adjudicated in the employer’s favour. Labour and employment law firm, Fisher Phillips, reports a case in which an organisation paid damages of $300,000 to the spouse of an employee severely injured while staying overseas.

…but a strong programme can generate meaningful savings and employee morale.

Implementing hotel safety and security checks entails information gathering and analysis that allows organisations to make smarter decisions, both before a trip and during travel. In one International SOS case study, a school was able to save more than $96,000 by securing a medical service – including an on-site doctor – in advance of a trip during which several students fell ill. This advance planning and understanding of their options for on-site treatment at the hotel itself allowed them to act quickly and avoid a costly evacuation.

For more information and tips on building a hotel safety programme, download “Hotel Safety: A Guide to Staying Safe for Employers & Travellers” here.