12 Apr Global Travel Risk Summit Europe: The Key Takeaways
Keeping business travellers safe in hotels and serviced accommodation
Organisations have important considerations to manage in order deliver on duty of care obligations to travelling employees – from the destination’s customs, culture and history to its socioeconomic and geographical status and crime problems. One aspect that also needs to be considered is the safety and security of the hotel or serviced accommodation being used by travelling employees. GSA’s Brian Moore recently presented at the 6th annual Global Travel Risk Summit Europe on keeping business travellers safe in hotels and serviced accommodation. Below are the key takeaways.
Reservations about travelling
Despite having a higher security infrastructure in alarms, CCTV and dedicated security staff, hotels are still vulnerable to criminal activity. They tend to be conspicuous and target-rich, with a revolving door of well-resourced travellers unfamiliar with their surroundings.
This has meant that corporate use of serviced accommodation is on the rise. Once considered a last resort, some corporates are now more receptive to this option. Not only do they have the home-like feel that employees appreciate in the Airbnb age, they are less conspicuous than hotels, so are less likely to be targeted by criminals.
Nevertheless, both types must be amenable to adequate protection to ensure employees feel safe during their travels. This means having policies, procedures and strategies in place to handle various crises – from acquisitive crime and human trafficking to cyber and terrorist attacks.
It is also crucial to promote a culture of security in hotels and serviced accommodation. Service and security go hand in hand, with good service predicated on the security of guests. All staff are security staff and, therefore, must consider all aspects of security in their day-to-day role – whether that is keeping an eye out for potential threats, pinpointing faults with existing processes and procedures, or making guests feel safe through a simple “hello”.
The GSA seal of approval
Global Secure Accreditation (GSA) manages and maintains an independent global standard for hotel and serviced accommodation security. Our standard has been established and maintained by vastly experienced senior police officers and counter terrorism experts, as well as military and international security specialists. The standard is also backed by SFJ Awards, a government-approved awarding body regulated by Ofqual.
GSA is committed to showing corporate C-suites the importance of safety and security. With the help of a GSA auditor, organisations can gauge the effectiveness of their existing travel risk management processes before plugging any gaps in existing policies and procedures.
This is particularly relevant now because a new global standard – ISO 31030 – is providing global guidance to corporates on their responsibilities and best practice in travel risk management.
Change on the horizon
Previously, there was little or no regulation around promoting safety and security in hotels and serviced accommodation. But things are changing in the wake of COVID-19 and the new ISO 31030. Hotel and serviced accommodation owners are now placing both higher on their agendas, while corporates and other organisations with travelling employees are working hard to ensure they deliver the duty of care that employees need when travelling for work.