With a new year of business, comes a new year of business travel planning, and your business has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of traveling employees. Before planning work endeavors for employees abroad, it is essential to always verify the safety of travel destinations, especially when travel is to a foreign country.
How to Ensure Safety
The best travel management companies know how to keep your employees safe, staying abreast of the latest travel advisory levels. What are travel advisory levels? The U.S. Department of State issues travel advisory warnings based on international dangers, updating the status when changes occur with the concern/situation at hand. Conditions can change rapidly at any time, from natural disasters to political unrest, terror threats, crime, health risks, and more.
Travel Advisory Levels to Watch Out for:
The latest system, revised in January of 2018 to include every country in the world, breaks down advisory levels into the following categories:
- Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Level 3: Reconsider Travel
- Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
Top 10 Destinations on the Most Recent U.S. Travel Advisory List
The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends AGAINST travel to the following regions, assigning them each a ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ in their most recent travel advisories:
- Venezuela (Updated 1/29/19)
- Somalia (Updated 12/26/18)
- North Korea (Updated 12/19/18)
- South Sudan (Updated 12/11/18)
- Iraq (Updated 10/18/18)
- Iran (Updated 10/10/18)
- Central African Republic (Updated 10/03/18)
- Syria (Updated 09/10/18)
- Mali (Updated 08/13/18)
- Libya (Updated 08/08/18)
Other countries designated a ‘Level 4’ risk at this time also include Afghanistan and Yemen, updated in July of 2018. All of those countries designated a ‘Level 4’ risk are environments suffering serious issues such as war, famine, political unrest, and other perilous dangers.
What to Do if Travel to Affected Regions is Necessary
The U.S Department of State and top business travel agencies recommend the following when employees must visit a country with a standing travel advisory:
- Be SMART
Talk to your corporate travel planning agent about STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Enrolling in STEP is a free service and will ensure employees receive essential information from the Embassy about key safety issues, as well as facilitate location by the U.S. Embassy more easily in the event of an emergency.
- Know Before You Go
Review country crime and safety reports with employees before travel, staying abreast of the latest information by following the Department of State on social networks on Facebook and Twitter.
- Keep in Touch
Via social media, with frequent status updates.
- Have a Contingency Plan
Ensure employees take all necessary health precautions, as well as plan an evacuation procedure in advance that does not rely on the involvement of the U.S. government, considering emergency evacuation insurance.
Looking for a corporate travel agent in Philadelphia who watches out for your best interests? Learn more about GTI Travel today.