The way the world travels in 2023 is not the same way we traveled in 2003, and almost unrecognizable from travel in 1983. While there are significant advantages, including conveniences like paperless tickets and the ability to modify plans via mobile devices, there are a lot more issues too. In fact, a recent survey conducted by global travel risk management firm World Travel Protection tells us “one in ten (10%) employees said they will now [post Covid-19] refuse to travel to places they deem unsafe and 11% would refuse a work placement abroad as they feel there are too many risks.”
From geopolitical events to global health pandemics to disruptive groups mobilizing easier than ever before thanks to social media, staying ahead of potential risks and ensuring the safety of personnel has become more crucial, as well as more difficult. How are travel security managers supposed to find success in the face of these challenges?
To help travel security managers achieve success, here are three significant challenges and solutions to tackle them effectively.
Challenge 1: Spending Too Much Time Checking Open News Sources to Create Reports
The traditional approach to gathering intelligence involves scouring multiple news sources, websites, and social media channels for information. This time-consuming process can be overwhelming, especially when you consider the vast amount of data available. The risks with this approach include missing critical updates and spending excessive time on less relevant information.
Solution: Compile and Share Reports
Embrace the power of technology by leveraging AI-powered aggregators. These tools can automatically gather and filter information from various sources, delivering only the most relevant and timely updates.
By integrating such solutions into your workflow, you can free up valuable time and focus on analyzing intelligence rather than gathering it. Additionally, some platforms offer customizable alerts based on specific criteria, ensuring you receive real-time notifications on matters that directly impact your organization.
But don’t rely on technology alone. It’s critical to ensure there are analysts involved too, vetting and verifying information pulled in by the technology-driven solutions. With the advent of generative AI, it’s becoming more and more common for fake news to be interpreted as fact. Therefore it’s key to keep humans involved. The best solution is to leverage the efficiencies of the technology, but ensure knowledgeable, on-the-ground analysts are verifying all data before action is taken.
Challenge 2: Inability to Monitor Each Country Individually
With a globally dispersed workforce and travelers traversing multiple destinations, it’s impractical to individually monitor the security situation in each country or region. Lacking a comprehensive monitoring mechanism can leave gaps in your risk assessment, leading to potential blind spots.
Solution: Automate Country Monitoring
Implement a monitoring system that automatically alerts you to potential risks around the globe. With travelers on the ground in various countries, your solution should allow you to create customized alerts that will notify you of events such as unrest, crime, natural disasters, or changes in stability wherever your team members are located. Your chosen platform should also act as your watchdog for areas where you aren’t actively looking, so you can have a 360-degree view of the world’s threat landscape. When emerging threats can be rapidly identified in countries or regions via an automated, bespoke alert system, resources can be saved and allocated appropriately. And more than that, travelers can be provided with proactive, country-specific intelligence to keep them ahead of potential threats.
Challenge 3: Centralizing and Sharing Intelligence with a Team
Effective intelligence sharing within your travel security team is crucial for making well-informed decisions and swift responses. However, without a centralized platform, sharing and collaboration can be fragmented and inefficient.
Solution: Easily Shared and Accessible Intelligence
Consider investing in a collaborative intelligence platform that enables seamless sharing of information among your team members. Such platforms provide a secure space to centralize intelligence reports, analysis, and updates. With real-time collaboration features, your team can collectively assess risks, allowing for more time to strategize and respond to emerging situations. These platforms allow your team to work more effectively and efficiently and provide leaders with the information to make more informed decisions on how to best proceed with the situation.
Staying Ahead of Travel Security Dilemmas
Travel security is not a simple job. Depending on the size of the organization, it can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for a travel security manager to accomplish all of the necessary actions to properly keep executives and employees safe during travels. There is just too much information circulating to stay on top of and too many places experiencing varying degrees of disruption and crisis at any given time.
Since this is unlikely to change, the best plan is for travel security managers to embrace AI-powered news aggregators in order to stay on top of events, automate country monitoring to prioritize where to send (and not send) employees, and invest in collaborative intelligence platforms in order to disseminate information quickly in order to empower the best decision making. If these solutions are leveraged, travel security managers and their teams can best set themselves up for success. A prepared team is your greatest asset in navigating the complex landscape of travel security.