Corporate TravelInternational SOS predicts top five trends in 2023, including the need for organisations to “plan for the unplanned”.

Travellers, get ready to deal with the perma-crisis mode

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Travellers would require more support and adjust to perma-crisis in relation to geopolitical shifts, socio-economic challenges and rising polarisation.
Travellers would require more support and adjust to perma-crisis in relation to geopolitical shifts, socio-economic challenges and rising polarisation. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/MemoryMan

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 business travellers.

“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 2023.

“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 issues.”

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