What freaks out business travellers?

AMSTERDAM, 6 November 2017: Asia Pacific travellers are likely to worry more about safety and security than their counterparts from other regions recent research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel concludes.

Findings showed Asia Pacific 56% of travellers worry about their safety and security compared with 37% of European travellers and 47% American travellers.

There were considerable geographical differences when it comes to identifying what scares travellers the most.  For example only 19% of Australians surveyed said they worried about terrorist attacks. In contrast, 59% of Singaporeans said they worried most about terror attacks. Indians shared the same concern with 46% claiming terror attacks were their main worry.

“Despite recent terrorist attacks, business travellers say they’re more worried about other things – and that’s surprising,” said Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s chief marketing officer Simon Nowroz. “We found that, yes, the world seems scarier at times – but travellers believe they have more tools at their disposal to keep them informed and safe.”

Overall terrorism only ranked fifth (35%) among safety concerns, despite the high visibility of terrorist attacks.

The top four most important worries across all nationalities were “forgetting something needed for work”(40%), “losing something important” (38%), “being robbed or attacked” (37%) and “weather conditions” (37%).

The CWT Connected Traveller survey of more than 1,900 individuals found that two-thirds (67%) of business travellers believe travel is safer today than in the past, as they have more tools to mitigate safety concerns. Seven out of 10 travellers use at least one of their employer’s security protocols, such as traveller tracking or emergency contact profiles. More than two-thirds (68%) buy travel insurance.

The study did reveal several findings of concern. For example, one in five travellers have cancelled a trip due to concerns about their safety and security. And 30% say they are worried about their health and well being when it comes to traveling.

Regional differences

The study revealed some intriguing regional differences between the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

For example, only 7% of APAC travellers said they were “not concerned” about personal safety while traveling for business. That percentage rose to 12% for Americas travellers and 21% among EMEA travellers. This is reflected in the fact that APAC travellers appear to be better prepared. For example, more than half (52%) of APAC travellers maintain an up-to-date emergency contact profile compared to 38% in the Americas and only 34% in EMEA.

APAC travellers are also more likely to sign up for notifications of real-time risks (41%). Only 33% do in the Americas, while only 29% do from EMEA. APAC travellers were also more likely to know ahead of time about local medical, or security services providers. More than a third (35%) of APAC travellers planned for these services ahead, versus 25% in the Americas and 20% in EMEA.

“Today’s travellers are sophisticated,” said Nowroz. “They’re signing up for alerts, they’re paying attention to the news and they use the available tools at their disposal. So while travel may seem risky, they’re taking steps to stay safe.”

National differences


  • Nearly half (46%) of Chinese travellers said they are very concerned, or somewhat concerned when it comes to personal safety.
  • The top concerns for Chinese business travellers are “losing something important” (50%), “personal health concerns or getting sick” (48%) and “weather conditions” (45%)
  • Almost all Chinese business travellers (95%) said they purchased travel insurance at least once.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Chinese travellers have up-to-date emergency contacts and almost half (47%) receive notifications about real time risks.


  • Indian business travellers are by far the most worried about personal safety when it comes to travel. Almost half (48%) of those surveyed said are very concerned about personal safety, while on the road for business.
  • Weather is the biggest worry for Indian travellers, with 54% of travellers surveyed saying this is a concern. Terrorist attacks came in as the second biggest concern at 49%.
  • As a result, most Indian business travellers (64%) maintain up-to-date emergency contacts and almost half of them (47%) find out ahead of time about local health care services and providers.
  • Nearly half of Indian business travellers (40%) have cancelled a business trip due to personal safety concerns.


  • Singapore travellers are amongst the most concerned in Asia Pacific when it comes to personal safety during business travel. Of those surveyed, 27% said they are “very concerned” about personal safety, while a further 48% are “somewhat concerned” (higher than the regional averages of 24% and 32% respectively).
  • Terrorist attacks are the top safety concern for Singapore travellers. Nearly three in every five Singapore travellers surveyed (59%) said they worry about terror attacks while on the road – significantly higher than travellers from other countries in Asia Pacific and globally (35%).
  • More than half (55%) also said they are worried are about being robbed during a business trip.
  • Surprisingly, 41% of Singapore business travellers report having a fear of flying or other travel accidents.
  • More than half (53%) of Singaporean travellers report receiving real-time risk notifications, while 38% said they use travel concierge services to alleviate personal safety concerns.


  • Australian business travellers are by far the least concerned in Asia Pacific about safety and security.
  • Only 25% of Australian business travellers surveyed said they are “concerned” or “very concerned” about safety and security, compared with the average of 56% of travelers across Asia Pacific. Nearly a quarter (24%) of Australian travellers said they are not at all concerned about personal safety while on the road for business.
  • When it comes to their biggest concerns about business travel, “forgetting something needed for work” and “weather conditions” were tied at the top, with 32% of Australian travellers labelling each of these factors a cause of worry.
  • Meanwhile, terrorism come out at the bottom of the list, with only 19% of those surveyed saying they are worried about terror attacks when traveling.
  • Australians are also the least prepared when it comes to safety and security during business travel. Less than 40% of Australian business travellers maintain up-to-date emergency contact profiles and nearly 40% have no security protocols in place.

(Source: Carlson Wagonlit)