More can go wrong when you travel

BANGKOK, 23 November 2021: Following the gradual reopening of travel across Southeast Asia, the latest data from International SOS suggests global trip volumes have increased fourfold and in domestic markets sevenfold since May 2021.

The agency says there is a call for companies to provide more important health and safety tips for their staff who are resuming essential business travel.

Trends suggests the pandemic has added a new layer of complexity, especially for business travellers, and they are passing the baton on to HR and security teams to provide more assistance and support.

International SOS points out in its latest observations the constantly evolving travel regulations and increased security and health risks. It means trips are now nine times more like to result in an evacuation (1). These findings were released by International SOS, the world’s leading health and security services company that has feedback from 12,000 clients worldwide.

Over the past year, International SOS has monitored a 60% increase in cases per 100 trips and an 80% increase in high severity security incidents.

As uncertainties remain, the future of travel will bring significant changes in aviation, hospitality and travel, the agency notes. It identifies three core pillars to ‘safely resuming travel amidst Covid -19. They are: Protect your travellers, Protect your business, Comply with the law.

Travel Restrictions 

They represent a major challenge for travellers and employers due to the complex and highly volatile cross-border restrictions. They generate an additional workload for travellers and a rising demand for companies to support and assist. Traveller demands focus on HR & security teams. Corporate travellers are looking for trusted sources of health and security information and help with local law enforcement.

International SOS head Jamon Ngoencharee said, “According to the findings, trips are nine times more likely to result in a medical evacuation so managers will need to review their travel policy and ensure compliance to local guidelines to minimise risk to their workforce. A travel policy should include health interventions, managing testing & quarantine process for travellers, providing accurate information, including the current Covid-19 risk and healthcare infrastructure in the arrival destination.”

For either domestic or international travel, it means companies must monitor ongoing community transmissions and local restrictions while assessing the security environment and healthcare capabilities in the host destination.

International SOS’ Workforce Resilience Solution is designed to help organisations follow the new ISO  31020:2021 – Travel Risk Management – Guidance for organisations for the safe return to travel and resumption of business activities to ensure long-term organisational continuity. For more information, visit

(Source: International SOS)

1 Analysis based on International Assistance Case Data (1 May 2020 – 31 August 2021) and International SOS Alerts (1 January 2019 – 31 July 2021).


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