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Security concerns still loom large for corporate travel, says Amex GBT

TORONTO — More than half (56%) of corporate travel managers have seen more business travellers report heightened personal security concerns in the past three months, according to a new survey from American Express Global Business Travel and ACTE.

The survey also showed that 54% of corporate travel managers say travellers have expressed new or growing concern about travel to the U.S. as changes in visa requirements and immigration policies loom, and 31% report increased concern about data privacy.

Some 239 travel buyers from around the world (North America 63%, Europe / Middle East / Africa 24%, Asia Pac 13%) were polled for the survey.

Amex GBT conducted the March 2017 survey as a follow up to its September 2016 poll. Traveller concerns about security, very prominent in the September 2016 poll, “remain a live issue”, says the company. Travel to and from the U.S. – a new question that examined traveller anxieties about visa and immigration issues – generated increased enquiries in 54% of corporations.

The 2016 survey revealed that more than half (54%) of buyers had already tightened policy in light of security concerns and 36% were considering changes to policy in response to these concerns. In the 2017 poll a majority of buyers have either introduced (33%), will introduce (14%) or are discussing bringing in more safety training for travellers.

The 2017 stats also indicated that few buyers are using traveller safety as justification for clamping down on ‘bleisure’ trips in their policies, i.e. business trips with a vacation component, often with family members in tow. However the survey also showed that 23% of buyers indicated that their policies did not permit travellers to use shared economy accommodation options like Airbnb.

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