Is Terrorism the Biggest Threat to Business Travel Safety
The threat of terrorist attacks on Western business travelers is a genuine concern. There have been a number of terrorist attacks in the last 5 years that have focused on foreigners or foreign interests. In 2013 the Nairobi Mall attack shook the world for its sheer scale and audacity. The most recent between 7th and 9th January, 2015 led to 17 people killed in various locations in Greater Paris, France by Islamic extremists. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ attack. AQAP still has a high level of motivation and intent to attack Western Europe.
Groups or individuals motivated by the ongoing conflicts in the MENA region have shown an interest in committing further acts of terrorism. Groups and sympathizers of Al Qaida (AQ) and the Islamic State (IS) may seek to assert themselves from each other by carrying out ‘spectacular’ attacks.
All this said, the media often sensationalize the risk of terrorism to travelers and tourism. Although terrorist motivations are high, the majority only have a low to moderate capability of carrying out successful attacks. Security forces and intelligence agencies also work tirelessly to counter the threat, and in the majority of countries terrorism is a risk to life that falls far behind other, less sensational threats.
In the period 2010 to 2014 the U.S. State Department identified that 69 US persons were killed due to Terrorism. The majority of these located in Iraq and Afghanistan (likely contractors). In that same time period 1,045 U.S. Citizens were killed in Road Traffic Accidents. The graphic below identifies the main causes of death to U.S Citizens abroad and highlights how Terrorism pales in comparison to certain other causes.
The main ‘take-away’ point ETS aim to identify in this article is that the majority of the causes of death could likely be reduced significantly with basic travel safety education for people traveling, living or working in foreign climates.
Basic travel safety programs that focus on teaching avoidance measures, proactive threat awareness and pushing home the importance of prior preparation and planning could significantly reduce the number of avoidable deaths and injuries of travelers.
The ETS Business Travel Safety eLearning brief is tailored to organizations that send employees abroad. This user-friendly eLearning travel safety brief is animation based to assist the learning process and deliver a realm of information that works to minimize risk to travelers abroad.