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ABTA study reveals managers' top concerns for staff on business trips

ABTA's new research found the top concerns for managers when their staff travel on business trips: organising correct entry documents, health and medical issues, and terrorism and security threats.

In contrast, more than half of managers (51%) stated that none of their staff on business trips over the last 12 months had encountered any problems.

However, there are some marked differences between managers' concerns and the actual problems encountered by the employees. In particular, 60% of managers expressed concerns over terrorism or security-related issues, but only 6% stated their staff had encountered problems relating to terrorism or security-related issues.

When asked what problems their staff had actually encountered on business trips, the top three issues highlighted by managers were: natural disasters or severe weather conditions (18%), health or medical issues (15%), and issues around organising correct entry documents (13%).

Similarly, 24% of managers stated that they were concerned about potential disruption to travel arrangements due to geopolitical volatility such as political demonstrations, although just 7% of managers reported that their staff had encountered problems due to such issues.

ABTA members have access to the travel association's operational bulletins which provide timely updates on emerging incidents and events as well as information on changes to requirements, including visas and entry documents.

Accessibility for disabled staff was a concern for almost a third of managers (30%) and 11% went on to say that their staff had encountered problems in this area over the last twelve months.

ABTA members are also provided with free online training about accessible travel. There are also free online training modules about the Foreign Office's travel advice and counterterrorism initiatives.

Victoria Bacon, director of brand and business development at the travel association, said: "We live in an increasingly unpredictable world and managers understandably have a wide range of concerns for their staff when travelling on business trips.

"There is a clear split between particular areas of concern for managers and the actual risk of problems occurring. ABTA has a range of ways that we help TMCs to support their clients with accurate information and advice on how to prepare for and manage any risks when travelling overseas. Managers are particularly worried around terrorism and security threats, and the support offered by ABTA in areas such as operational updates, sharing of Foreign Office advice and online training and crisis support are particularly relevant."


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