Poor communication in response to an emergency among findings revealed in global travel and risk survey


Key Findings: 

Key Travel works with more than 1,900 third sector organisations in 54 countries worldwide, supporting people and teams travelling to some of the world’s most vulnerable and remote locations. Their recent year-end survey captured attitudes and trends towards global travel. Here’s a look at some of the insights they uncovered…

• Of 1,800 third sector respondents, 37% are travelling less frequently to certain areas

• 12% said they or a colleague had been affected by an incident overseas

• Political unrest and terror attacks feature heavily as reasons for not travelling

Sense of Security

Forty-six per cent of third sector employees stated that global incidents, political unrest and viral outbreaks had impacted their sense of security when travelling, with 37% travelling less frequently to certain areas as a result. This is actually an increase on last year, so people within the sector appear to be travelling more to perceived dangerous areas despite the general sense of security decreasing by 5%.

Twelve per cent said they or a colleague had been affected by an incident while travelling overseas, with one respondent of the survey citing that they had been evacuated from the Central African Republic to the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of political unrest. The respondent stated: “It was a tough experience and definitely impacted my sense of safety when travelling to fragile lands.”

Among the other stand-out factors reducing sense of security and therefore decision to travel, were political unrest and terror attacks, most notably in Turkey, where respondents said that their trips had to be aborted in light of local bombings and a military coup. Similarly, Brussels was deemed to several respondents as an unsafe location.

Reassuring Travellers

Twenty five per cent of respondents stated that they were not aware who was responsible for travel risk management in their organisation, while less than a third said that their organisation stipulated that a risk assessment must be performed prior to booking travel. This data suggests that a formal travel risk policy and enforced risk assessments and protocols might go some way to increase travellers’ sense of safety and security.

Communication is Key

Sixty-six per cent of people reported that their organisation had an agreed way of communication in the event of an emergency. Despite this, the procedures behind such communications were less clear, with 43% of people stating that they did not know if there was an established procedure to follow in order to receive updates and news of what to do during emergency situations.

Prioritising Traveller Safety

The survey also asked which risk management services were valued the most among organisations, with 24-hour emergency support and 24-hour booking topping the list, followed by crisis management in the event of an emergency, itinerary management via a mobile app and pre-trip security briefings.


The survey, designed to capture emerging trends which influence third sector travel preferences, also reported 50% of third sector respondents needing to book work-related travel outside of office hours within the last 12 months – an increase of 11% on last year – demonstrating that flexibility is required by humanitarians when it comes to arranging travel.

Managing Risk

The findings demonstrate the complex and dynamic nature of the environment that NGOs operate within. However, help is at hand with a number of consulting and technology providers on the market focussed on the management and reduction of the risk that this vital sector and its workers face.

Discover More

Insights on risk gathered from their most recent surveys have prompted a number of round table workshops with leading NGOs to share best practice and common challenges in implementing effective solutions for managing travel risk. More takeaways for enhancing third sector travel programmes can be found in Key Travel’s white paper ‘Managing travel-related risk: Why, when, how?’ in the following link:  www.keytravel.com/uk/news-and-views/whitepapers-and-research/


To find out more about Key Travel’s travel risk management solutions, contact their team: tellmemore@keytravel.com