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News 12 November, 2021 Back

Travel Risk Management - BTN Europe Magazine

Anne-Marie Fast

Traveller tracking

In the latest issue of Business Travel News Europe, Rob Gill interviews industry experts including Anvil's Group Managing Director, Matthew Judge to find out the best approach.

Tracking travellers – Is big brother watching?

Tracking travellers can be a contentious issue, but there is growing acceptance about why it's a necessary tool to improve duty of care and mitigate potential risks to employees.

Being able to locate a particular traveller at any point in their business trips is at the heart of tracking and is a cornerstone of duty of care, particularly when travelling to a location hit by a major incident such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or disease outbreak.

The first line of defence for any organisation is encouraging travellers to book using approved systems – this means tracking should be relatively straightforward by using the itinerary booked through a TMC or other approved booking platform. If they book outside these platforms, it can be far more difficult and time-consuming to pin down their location and itinerary quickly.

Matthew Judge iterates how booking via approved channels and being able to track travellers through their itineraries is key. "Travel itinerary tracking is proactive and helps you to meet your duty of care obligations, as opposed to other forms of tracking," says Judge. "Live GPS or phone tracking is purely reactive and, alone, only lets you know where your traveller is now, rather than where they're going."

There is obviously a careful balance to be struck between an employer's need to track travel and an individual's right to privacy, and Judge stresses that the form of tracking used "should be proportionate and appropriate to the level of risk" faced by travellers.

He continues, "Check-ins may often be more appropriate than live tracking, but there will obviously be occasions where live tracking may be required. If a traveller is heading to an area with a high risk of kidnap, assault, mugging etc, then live tracking maybe more appropriate. If not, then checking in at various journey stages will often suffice."

Changing attitudes?

One impact of the pandemic has been to raise duty of care as a larger issue with travellers themselves, but has this affected how they view tracking?

As with many areas of life, explaining clearly why you need to track travellers is likely to be the best way to win them over - after all, it's for their own protection and safety.

Read the full article here –