Travel Risk Management: Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits

Introduction to Travel Health, Safety and Security BenefitsWhen it comes to travel risk management and the benefits of travel health, safety and security, this is what every travel, human resources, risk and general manager should know. In this article we will cover workplace health and safety standardization, productivity, efficiency and safety that complies with the company’s social and legal obligations. By reading this article you will be able to identify the main business benefits of enhanced travel health, safety and security for business travellers and determine if you our your company have a demonstrable travel risk management system that support workplace health and safety and fulfills your social and legal primary duty of care objectives.After all, why would you exclude business travel from your overall business health, safety and security strategy and objectives?Workplace Standardization: Travel Health, Safety and Security BenefitsTravel Risk Management BenefitsHave you ever seen or visited a worksite/office where they proudly display the amount of hours or days since the last significant incident that disrupted work progress or endangered employee safety? Most likely. Have you ever seen similar or specific information displayed and communicated relevant to the last significant incident that disrupted business travel or endangered business traveller’s safety? Probably not.Travel risk management is not, and should not, a stand-alone or extra-ordinary risk mitigation system. It is merely a standardization between the more traditional or know workplace, office, and site health and safety requirements and expectations for employees. It is simply an extension to include all mobile and traveling personnel by means of concern, planning, resourcing and support to maximize business performance, efficiency and safety as it relates to business travel.Any business that does not have a universal approach, that is inclusive of business travel, is sending mixed messages to their employees and most likely exposing them unnecessarily to compliance and litigation issues.While the primary motivator for travel risk management by way of health, safety and security enhancements, should not be compliance and litigation avoidance, embracing the objective of improved and acceptable workplace health and safety for all employees will certainly take a step in the right direction to meeting both of these outcomes.Improved whole of workplace health, safety and security
The war for talent is far from over and one of the considerations by high value talent is the demands and support associated with business travel. Awareness of business travel health, safety and security has risen significantly in recent years but is still significantly more advanced than the supporting travel risk management systems and processes. Employers of choice and those maintaining competitive advantages in the market have been the first to adopt the principles with both tangible and intangible benefits.Creating false class or safety standards within a company is never an advisable strategy, however failure to adequately support and care for you business traveling population results in exactly that. There should be no noticeable difference to travellers of all levels of experience and status in the company’s workplace health and safety mechanisms and planning, when transiting from a fixed office/workplace to that of a mobile business travel workplace or journey.A simple standardization for those yet to implement a working travel health, safety and security strategy is advisable. Those with existing systems and processes need only ensure they remain extant and consistent with the overall company business travel objectives and social or legal expectations.Improved Productivity, efficiency and safety
Standardized and effective business wide health, safety and security systems have proven and measurable business benefits.Productivity derived from managed business travel can increased dramatically when inclusive of travel risk management. Lost hours, delays, disruptions, reduced work capacity and cost containment are all by-products of travel health, safety and security via travel risk management.Given that multiple overlapping departments support and manage business travel, the total amount of wastage and efficiency management is rarely visible in a single report or budget review. Significant efficiencies can be realized when the entire system is standardized to support travel administration, planning, health, safety and security. Compounding savings and harmonized expenditure can result in thousands of dollars in working capital saved or re-injected back into the business.Conclusion: Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits
The benefits of travel risk management relating to travel health, safety and security should now be apparent to any business owner or manager. While workplace health and safety compliance does apply to business travel it will also result in sizable business savings and cost efficiencies if undertaken correctly, while meeting or exceeding any compliance or company’s social and legal obligations. Objectively review your current travel health, safety and security systems specific to travel risk management and use this advice as a guide to make comparisons or rectify any omissions to your processes immediately.

List of the Most Popular Emerging Travel Destinations in Southeast Asia

Famous for its opulent temples, pristine beaches and rich cultures, Southeast Asia has long been one of the most popular travel destinations for the adventurous backpacker. From the bustling modern cities of Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to the sleepy oceanside villages of Ko Tao and northern Bali, Southeast Asia’s immense diversity has the power to lure and impress even the most experienced traveler.Well-trodden paths ply between the most prominent cities and cultural sites of Southeast Asia’s big tourism hitters of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. But venture just beyond the headliners and you will encounter a Southeast Asia that is in many ways still waiting to be discovered. Emerging destinations in the more popular countries along with the less traversed Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar offer travelers a fascinating glimpse of the region with the added bonus of much smaller crowds. With less Western visitors in these areas travelers will encounter a Southeast Asia that is worlds away from Khao San Road; an experience within which you can more easily connect to the endearing and friendly locals who make any journey to Southeast Asia so unforgettable.5 Emerging Destinations in Southeast AsiaWithout further ado here is a list of five of the most popular emerging destinations in Southeast Asia in no particular order. These places are by no means completely off-the-beaten path or off-the-radar but rather are becoming increasingly admired among the backpacker and independent travel crowd. Naturally, this does not claim to be an exhaustive list. Southeast Asia as a tourism destination is continually evolving and with more investment into tourist infrastructure pouring in this list could conceivably be re-titled five years from now minus the word “emerging”. Before making the decision to travel to any of these destinations, however, it is prudent to seek out up-to-date travel advice including required vaccinations, visa requirements and travel advisories.Bagan, MyanmarThe temples of Siem Reap in Cambodia may have prestige and grandeur but perhaps no destination in Southeast Asia can compete with the sheer volume of spiritual dwellings in Bagan, Myanmar. With over 2,000 remaining temples gracing the area, Bagan continues to be one of the least known yet unmissable destinations in the region. Hidden southwest of the more recognizable Mandalay and considering the long journey from the former capital and largest city, Yangon, Bagan sees significantly fewer visitors than other temple complexes in Thailand or Cambodia, giving travelers an opportunity to revel in its beauty with relative calm. For one of the truly great experiences in Southeast Asia, perch yourself atop one of the ubiquitous empty temple-top terraces just before dusk to gaze upon the sunset reflecting brilliantly off of the temples’ golden spires.Traveling to Bagan (and Myanmar), however, is definitely not for the faint-hearted or time-pressed traveler, which may explain why it has not yet caught up with its potential. To enter the country visas are required for and must usually be applied for in advance. Distances between cities are also quite large with road conditions that often leave something to be desired. Traveling to/from Bagan is no exception with daily long-distance buses plying the roads to/from Mandalay (8 hours) and Yangon (14-15 hours) while trains trudge the same routes albeit significantly slower. Air travel is an option but keep in mind that safety standards in Myanmar may not be as robust as in Western countries.Luang Prabang, LaosBetween the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers lies the crown jewel of Laos, the majestic town of Luang Prabang. Few cities are as timeless as the UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang with its reminiscent French colonial architecture, grandiose Buddhist temples and traditional Laotian wooden houses jammed neatly into its endearing old quarter. In the shadow of Phu Si and its hillside temples, buzzing markets, ornate spiritual sites and restaurants serving up local and international specials capture the attention of all those passing through. Possessing an elusive charm, Luang Prabang has quickly become a favorite destination for independent travelers on the Southeast Asia circuit and continues to move up the travel ranks as it lures back old friends and deftly seduces new ones.Road improvements have made bus travel in Laos significantly more comfortable and getting to Luang Prabang considerably easier. Buses to/from the capital Vientiane (9 to 11 hours) and adrenaline-fueled Vang Vieng (7 hours) leave regularly while boats can be chartered for the amazing trip to Nong Khiaw (7 hours) along the Nam Ou.Yogyakarta, IndonesiaHome to a burgeoning backpacker culture of sorts, Yogyakarta, Java’s geographic and cultural center, is rapidly evolving into one of the most popular travel destinations in Indonesia. Strategically located on the main line between Jakarta and Bali, Jogja, its moniker to locals and admiring travelers alike, has become an almost mandatory stopover for those trekking across Java. And with good reason. Jogja itself has a wealth of attractions including art galleries and museums showcasing Javanese culture and the famous kraton, a grandiloquent walled palace at the heart of the city, once home to the sultans. The traveler’s enclave centered around Jalan Sosrowijayan is a surprisingly lively introduction to Indonesian, particularly Javanese, culture and hospitality, where it is not unusual to see hip, friendly locals mingling seamlessly with tourists in the area’s streets, bars and restaurants.Yogyakarta’s biggest tourist drawcard, however, is the iconic Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple, situated just 42km away. Constructed somewhere around 800 AD, the temples intricate panels and stupas are best seen under the gentle radiance of a sunrise when large tour groups have yet to arrive.Transport to/from Jogja is fairly simple since the city is well connected to the rest of Java by buses, minibuses and trains. The journey to/from Jakarta is most comfortable and shortest by train (8 hours) while the long-haul to Denpasar in Bali (15 to 16 hours) via Mt. Bromo (9 to 10 hours) is most directly accomplished by bus/minibus.Hoi An, VietnamPossessing a distinctive character that is all its own, the charming riverside town of Hoi An captivates visitors with its enticing blend of graceful architecture and a bucolic pace. At the heart of Hoi An sits the enduring Old Town, a veritable open-museum distinguished enough to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Partially because of this status, Hoi An is remarkably well-preserved and in walking the narrow alleyways it is not difficult to see why so many travelers are becoming increasingly enchanted by the town and its entrancing atmosphere.Located on the main coastal highway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, although quite far from each, Hoi An has reliable bus connections to many cities in Vietnam. Buses to/from Hue (4 to 5 hours), Danang (about 1 hour) and Nha Trang (9 to 10 hours) are available. If you are short on time but still want to visit Hoi An, flying to/from Danang to HCMC or Hanoi is a possible option.Pai, ThailandThrow the spirit of Haight-Ashbury circa 1967 into a misty valley in the foothills of northern Thailand and something resembling Pai may just materialize. An increasingly popular backpacker hotspot, laid-back and uber-cool Pai is one of Thailand’s fastest growing tourist destinations. Unlike the other places on this list, Pai has seemingly little in the way of sights; but what Pai lacks in landmarks it more than makes up for in atmosphere and location. Once a mere stopover for those heading north of Chiang Mai, travelers now venture to Pai for its fantastic trekking, rafting, elephant riding and spa relaxation options.Located in northern Thailand, Pai is accessible by bus from Chiang Mai (4 hours), the second most popular international gateway to the country, and Mae Hong Son (4 hours), a major hill-tribe trekking center.Other Emerging DestinationsWith so much to discover in Southeast Asia, choosing only five emerging destinations can hardly do justice to such a diverse and exceedingly engrossing region. Here are some other destinations to keep on radar that deserve an honorable mention:Kalaw (Myanmar)
Palawan (Philippines)
Kinabalu National Park (Malaysia)
Ko Tao (Thailand)
Battambang (Cambodia)