Is the hotel security up to local safety regulation standards? Are there working fire extinguishers and well-marked fire exits? How accessible are the room doors to the public? Are the windows secure? Who has control of the room keys? All of these are certainly important questions, but they only address a portion of the security considerations travel managers should be making on behalf of their travelers.
To begin with, the location of the hotel is one of the most overlooked yet highly impactful safety factors. If you have not performed any location assessments, it’s good to start on a wide scale and from there narrow down your analysis.
Begin by using TMC or third-party security tools to assess security threats at a country level. You can quickly determine whether an entire country, or even part of a country has elevated security risks.
But really you should be digging deeper and assessing risks at a more micro scale. A nice hotel may be in a safe neighborhood that is abutting another, higher risk area. If travelers aren’t very familiar with the city, they may not realize that walking out the door in one direction can be significantly more dangerous than going in the opposite direction.
Use a car service (consider this addition to your travel policy)
Avoid street food
Keep the hotel’s business card on you (with hotel name and address on it)
Use security tools to share safety information with employees, such as crime spots to avoid and safer zones that are ok for going out. You can also provide the safest routes between the airport and their hotel or from their hotel to meetings and events.
You should also rely on local employees to verify if hotels are in safe neighborhoods. At the very least this information can help reduce the stress of travel and facilitate timeliness to meetings, which travelers will appreciate.
If an emergency does take place, the hotel can be one of the best “safe havens” for your travelers. This means the selection of a hotel is paramount in keeping travelers safe. Picking a “safe haven” hotel certainly requires checking its physical security measures, such as security fencing, cameras, and security guards, but, again, security goes beyond these physical aspects.
Hotel staff can be very helpful in dangerous situations. They should be very familiar with the area and able to provide more localized, up-to-date information during an incident. You should use GBTA security screenings to ensure the hotel staff is multilingual and able to answer your traveler’s questions in emergencies. The staff should also be well informed about the hotel’s emergency protocols, and ideally a hotel will also have a dedicated security team ready to intervene or involve authorities as needed.
Wi-Fi is always an important amenity for general business purposes, but you should view it as a security feature as well. A “safe haven” is one that keeps travelers connected. Wi-Fi access is the best way to make sure travelers can stay informed and in communication.
Regardless of a country's risk level, it’s a good idea to send out and post general hotel safety tips, such as:
Here are additional tips more specific to female travelers:
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