Global security concerns have been a reality for travelers for years, so it's alarming to see 20 percent of respondents say that their company does not have a policy to deal with such risks.
Very few companies are halting Europe trips altogether after the terror attacks in Brussels last month, but many are limiting business travel there at least slightly.
A poll conducted late last month by the Global Business Travel Association and partner groups in Europe found that 47 percent of respondents said their companies were making no change at all to travel to or within the continent.
But about 53 percent of those who responded said their companies would limit travel in Europe to varying degrees. Most — just over a quarter — said travel would be limited slightly, while 16 percent said limits would be moderate and 7 percent said they were “greatly” restricting travel.
Only 4 percent said travel in Europe was frozen altogether.
Nearly 30 percent of those who took the poll said their company had travelers who were impacted by the March 22 attacks in some way. The bombings at the airport and a downtown subway station killed more than 30 people, and the Brussels airport opened yesterday.
“We live in a global economy and even when faced with terror, we cannot live in fear,” Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of GBTA, said in a statement. “Businesses still need to do business and people will still need to travel, so it is imperative to plan, prepare and stay informed so that your business can make prudent decisions about its travel program.”
Most of the participants — 72 percent — said their companies had a risk management plan in place, while 20 percent said they did not and another 8 percent didn’t know.
Those plans were effective right after the attacks for 81 percent of those who responded and ineffective for 13 percent.
“While 80 percent would normally be seen as a great success rate, when lives are at stake, we need to do better,” McCormick said in the statement.
The poll was conducted online in the six days following the attacks; 301 people from the United States and several European countries responded. According to GBTA, the majority of those who participated likely had travel management responsibilities.
Other surveys have shown that leisure travelers are wary of visiting Europe after the Brussels bombings, which followed attacks in Paris in November. According to a Skift survey last month, among those who had plans to visit Europe over the next six months, 20 percent had already canceled and nearly 28 percent were rethinking their plans.
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Photo credit: Mourners pay their respects to victims of last month's bombings in Brussels. Valentina Calà / Flickr