Policy: Effective travel program development begins with a well-written policy that clearly establishes how your employees travel on business. It should include what class of fares can be purchased and whether direct routing can be booked—in lieu of cheaper fares available with connecting flights. Your policy should address the needs of international travelers allowing for improved class on long flights over a clearly defined length. The class of hotels must be included, describing the level of service permitted that is booked on business travel. The issue of frequent traveler points should be covered, defining if they accrue to the employee or to the company. Of course, you need to establish a system of permitting exceptions for unique situations.
Evaluating Risk in Travel: Many companies do business in countries that present elevated risks to your employees. A successful travel program should clearly define what level of risk is tolerable and a systematic method to identify and classify high-risk travel. For example, based upon destination, you may designate three levels of risk: Low Risk – No Restrictions, High Risk – Business Critical Travel Only, Extreme Risk – Travel Prohibited. This information must be accessible to the employee, perhaps listed prominently on your company’s internal website or visible when booking travel through your travel management provider.
Communications with Travelers: Your travel security program should have a sound process in place to obtain and maintain contact information for the traveler as well as his or her hotels and destinations. Situations inevitably develop requiring emergency contact with a traveler. Conversely, an effective travel security program must include a 24/7 assistance line, reachable by the traveler when in need of aid or information.
Travel Tracking: Your travel security program must maintain the ability to identify the locations of travelers—should it become necessary. In the event of a natural disaster or major security incident such as a terror attack, you will be able to account for your employees who may be in jeopardy and facilitate the provision of assistance should it be necessary.
Crisis Response: The final key component of an effective travel security program is the ability to provide assistance in the event of a crisis, efficiently utilizing local resources or, if necessary, deploying assistance from your headquarters. There is no limit to the types of issues that can require your crisis response.