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Thought Leadership

Are Mobile Travel Safety Alerts Actually Useful?

by Stuart Anderson / August 10, 2017

In this Thought Leadership article, I wanted to delve deeper into Travel Safety alerts, and see if they are a useful part of Travel Safety, or a waste of time. So what is a Travel Safety alert?

For years, risk management companies have been sending alerts to organizations who send their travellers around the globe. It might be in a city, a country, or a region, but you'll receive information via text, email, or through an app that will tell you of any political demonstrations, kidnappings, spates of gun crime or robbery; anything that they think is relevant for you going to that area.


How Do Organisations Really Feel About Travel Safety Alerts?

Having been in this industry for many years, and having had the privilege of working with companies all around the globe who use Travel Safety alerts, I've got some real-time and live feedbacks from organizations on how they've found them.

Some say the alerts are too generic, and they're not relevant to the individual traveller. Some say there are too many alerts, and every minor incident is coming in the newsfeed in people's inboxes, and they end up not looking at them.

Some organizations have removed them altogether. Others have put them in as part of a bigger travel risk management programme, and have found them very useful.


Data To Insight To Action

At eTravelSafety, we use something called Data to Insight to Action, and that gives us a better understanding of the importance of Travel Safety alerts. Most Travel Safety alerts are data. It's sending you data. 'There's been an incident in this area'. Some will have a little bit of insight, maybe some action. But that's a generic action, and it's not specific to that individual.

I've used Travel Safety alerts over the years, and I've found them very useful. I'm a security professional with a lot of experience, so when that data comes through on my phone, I'm able to take that information, look at the insight, and turn it into action. I do this automatically because I've done it so many times.

This would be very different for a 25 year-old media consultant who may never have travelled before, or even a 50 year-old going to the same location. Regardless of age, sex and experience, every travel experience will be different, so the alerts, as generic as they are, will be different for each individual.

So What Is The Solution?

Prior to travel, every traveller should understand the risks they face. Normally this is done through a travel risk assessment, and they can see what specific risks they face. Everybody going to the same country will have a different risk - not the same. This should be a live feed, and constantly updated so that the traveller knows how their risk is changing, evolving, or adjusting, depending on what incidents are happening in that location.

These alerts should be specific to that individual traveller, with the data, to the insights, to the actions on how to deal with that. This is one area to take Travel Safety alerts to the next level, and make them part of a bigger travel risk management tool.

I would love to hear how you find Travel Safety alerts.

If they are the only thing you use, if you think that's good enough, or if they're part of a bigger tool, or if you don't use them at all. Get in touch, and let me know.

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Stuart Anderson

Stuart Anderson

Stuart has over 25 years experience in the world of security and Travel Safety, securing his place as one of the foremost experts in the industry.