Almost every meeting planner’s job includes a heavy dose of airports, taxi cabs, and hotel lobbies. While business travel can be rewarding—even enlightening, for those who get to experience new cities and cultures—the results of a just-released SAP Concur survey are an important reminder about the safety concerns that meeting professionals on your team might be experiencing on the road, as well as concerns that could be on the minds of your attendees.
This past summer, SAP Concur surveyed 7,850 people from 19 markets around the world who traveled for business at least three times each year. The results raise questions about the neighborhoods around meeting facilities, the training and communication tools provided to travelers, and other ways to support those who feel uneasy about their time on the road. Here’s what the survey found:
• Nearly one third (31 percent) of business travelers prioritize their own safety when taking a business trip, yet over half (54 percent) believe safety is not their companies’ top priority.
• 58 percent of business travelers have changed their travel accommodations because they felt unsafe. For LGBTQ+ travelers, that number is much higher: 85 percent have changed their accommodations for safety reasons.
• More than 9 of 10 (91 percent) business travelers have shared their location with a friend while traveling, with safety (58 percent) being the most common reason.
• More than three of four female business travelers (77 percent) have had negative experiences related to their gender. Women are asked if they’re traveling with their husband (42 percent), or ignored by service workers (38 percent), or catcalled while working (31 percent).
• The vast majority (95 percent) of LGBTQ+ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57 percent).
• 52 percent of business travelers cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company could offer.