As business travel becomes more complex next year, travel management
budgets are, however, likely to increase or stay the same in 2023
despite rising costs, International SOS Group of Companies, a healthcare
and security service provider, noted.
“This kind of investment will be key to keep business travellers safe
in the year ahead,” it said in its Risk Outlook 2023 research report,
which surveyed 1,218 senior risk professionals in 108 countries.
This is based on survey findings where 86% of organisations reported
that they would maintain travel risk management budgets at the present
level or increase it, so it is likely that travel would “continue to
grow and return to pre-pandemic levels”.
“This is a trend well supported by the International SOS case data,
our traveller tracking data, which shows international travel now at 83%
of pre-Covid volumes, but travellers are twice as likely to call for
advice or assistance,” it said.
Meanwhile, International SOS revealed top five trends organisations
should be aware of next year, including “planning for the unplannable”
where travellers would require more support, and “adjusting to
perma-crisis” in relation to geopolitical shifts, socio-economic
challenges and rising polarisation.
It expects the Russia-Ukraine conflict to still have an impact in
2023, with geopolitical volatility spreading beyond those countries in
the next 12 months, while the US-China competition increasingly
dominates the geopolitical and economic landscape.
“Many crisis management teams are learning to deal with a state of
perma-crisis. It will be beneficial for organisations in 2023 to provide
the correct level of training, investment, and support for these teams,
as experts have drawn attention to significantly high levels of crisis
management fatigue,” it said.
International SOS also stated that the findings demonstrate how
experts predicted that social unrest would additionally be a key driver
of lost productivity in 2023.
It cited that 48% of experts forecast that cost of living pressures
would impact domestic employees and 33% saw civil unrest impacting
“The drivers for unrest will be numerous in 2023 and accounting for
the impact of social unrest is going to be a key task for businesses in
“Mitigation starts with understanding the risk environments in which
organisations operate, drivers of unrest and most likely impacts on
employees and operations,” said Sally Llewellyn, global security
director at International SOS.
“This can also help businesses ensure they have the right early
warning systems in place, understand the potential triggers and what
kind of organisational response is needed to counter any security