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Business travel in high-risk markets

The world is becoming a more dangerous place, but companies still need to do business. Properly protecting employees going to locations regarded as high risk requires proper travel security planning. Chauffeur company TBR Global has partnered with private security specialist Priavo to create TBR Secure, an enhanced ground transportation service. Here are their tips for concerned travel bookers:

1 Operational planning
Things you will need to consider:
Modes of travel, ground transportation, arrival and destination points, airport procedures
Itinerary, route analysis, accommodation security protocols, advance venue assessment
Social, economic and political climate, in-country risk analysis, in-country investigations

2 Security awareness training
Situational awareness is critical. Avoid attention by not wearing clothing or jewellery that identifies an individual as a tourist. Adopting local customs and speech/greetings will help you blend in. Know your route (don’t look lost) and adapt your behaviour; there are many tips to avoid becoming an attractive potential target.

A review of emergency protocols will allow any business traveller to react quickly. This will include a full brief on local police, embassies, consulates, hospitals and emergency contact points. Basic surveillance, counter-surveillance, self-defence and defensive driving tactics are valuable skills that are taught to traveling executives, enabling clients to address the situation before it escalates. As corporate espionage is a real threat—notoriously so in Russia and China—a full brief on cyber security is included with the training plan.

3 Tracking
Tracking clients is an effective way to ensure safety; notifying a company of an executive’s whereabouts at all times, quickly determining any deviation from the plan. Adding GPS tracking devices and check-in times to the itinerary increases the chances of a successful search and rescue operation if required.

This may be achievable through your travel management company’s tracking service, but obviously requires individual cooperation and may inhibit freedom of movement. Some companies can be uncomfortable with tracking equipment and it is important to pre-agree privacy considerations.

4 Emergency response procedures
The final part of the travel plan is knowing what to expect and how to react in a kidnapping/terrorist situation. High-profile executives representing government and large corporations have been targeted for ransom to advance political agendas in recent years. Preparing for the possibility of capture is crucial. Recognising and addressing the threat is part of the educational process. Contingency plans are crucial for first responders and diplomatic resources to facilitate and expedite response and rescue efforts, if needed.

Adversaries around the world are becoming more organised and corruption in high-risk territories makes it easier to target corporate executives as they travel and explore these emerging markets. Don’t let these events stop you conducting your business, but ensure your travellers are fully briefed and prepared for the place they are visiting.

For more information about TBR Secure, please visit