Experts named 10 main risks for business travellers in 2020

Natural disasters, civil unrest, geopolitical threats and epidemics will be the most serious problems of the business travel industry in 2020. These are the results of the opinion poll of Russian and foreign specialists responsible for business travel.


The International SOS 2020 risk forecast has been prepared under the guidance of the Business Travel Risk Management Board. The data are supported by the 2020 Business Travel Risk Map, as well as by the Analysis of Trends in Sustainable Business Development Assurance, based on the results of the survey of more than 1,300 specialists, including Russian ones, who are responsible for business travel. The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI in September this year. The Russian Association of Business Travel (ABT-ACTE Russia) helped International SOS to promote the survey among Russian experts.

A group of authoritative experts from the Council and International SOS have made a forecast of 10 main business travel risks organizations should pay attention to in 2020.

1. Risks arising from changes in the geopolitical environment.

2. Problems related to the psychic health of seconded staff.

3. Problems related to physical health of employees on a business trip.

4. The increased cyber crime level.

5. Climate change and, as the result, environmental imbalance.

6. An increase in the number of outbreaks of infectious diseases caused by well-known and newly discovered pathogens, which is primarily associated with the climate change, urbanization, reduced vaccination coverage, safety issues, etc.

7. Risks caused by the combination of personal leisure with business trips under the popular bleisure concept.

8. The increasing number of millennials and Generation Z employees whose attitude to risks on a business trip differs from that of older generations, which encourages employers to develop business travel risk management strategies.

9. Increased number of high-profile proceedings connected with the breach of employer`s obligations to ensure the health and safety of secondees.

10. Emergence of new representatives of small and medium-sized businesses who do not have sufficient resources and experience and will experience certain difficulties in fulfilling their obligations to ensure the health and safety of seconded employees.

Compared to the world figures, Russian companies expect serious obstacles to business travel from natural disasters (66% in Russia, 51% in the world), civil unrest (62% in Russia, 52% in the world) and epidemics (50% in Russia, 31% in the world).

At the same time, Russian employers pay less attention to important individual issues. Thus, only 4% of Russian organizations include mental health problems into their travel policies (15% in the world), only 5% - risks for seconded employees with disabilities (12% in the world), only 12% - special needs of women on business trips (26% in the world) and only 20% have access to technologies for staff training, providing assistance during business trips and seconded employee tracking (36% in the world).

However, Russian companies are more attentive than the world average to cyber threat protection (2nd place in the world according to the survey results) and to the development of bleisure travel (4th place in the world).

You can learn more about Russian and global trends by taking part in a free webinar, where International SOS experts will speak in detail about the main business travel risks in 2020 and the ways to avoid them. The webinar is in Russian - REGISTER HERE.