Travel managers from Australia and New Zealand’s leading businesses are increasingly turning their attention to the issue of travel risk management and duty of care.
At the recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Australia and New Zealand 2012 Conference held in Sydney, a growing number of travel management professionals discussed the issues and solutions to managing the risks associated with business travel and full filing their legal duty of care obligations.
A number of presentations and breakout sessions were held, with many touching on the issues of duty of care for Australian business travellers. Expert sessions included economic forecasts for the travel and tourism industry, crisis management, carbon emission, travel management companies, service expectations, technology and governance. Although may technical aspects such as duty of care, security and health and safety were discussed, conspicuously absent we corporate professionals from these representative areas.
“It’s good to see that more Australian businesses are realising they have a number of obligations in regards to managing the threats and hazards of business travel in domestic and international environments but it remains a concern as to how few actually understand the risk management process or overarching legislation on these issues” noted Tony Ridley, an international travel risk management and duty of care professional. “Too many travel managers have a belief or concurrence with providers that a particular product or service meets all of their duty of care requirements when many are mere placebos” Tony went on to explain. “Unless a business, or travel manager can demonstrate through due diligence that they have a systematic approach to travel risk management, that includes their duty of care, then they do not have a defensible system that could be considered a business travel health and safety mechanism” Tony Ridley, Regional Director for Products and Services at MRD concluded.
Tony Ridley was also a consulting judge for the Travel Manager of the Year 2012 award from GBTA, providing technical input and assessment on areas associated with technology, travel tracking and travel risk management compliance.
A particular highlight for many at the conference was a session lead by Jane Holcombe, Head of Procurement-Business Support at the Costa group on service expectations for travel management companies. Jane identified the key buying requirements and service performance needs for competitive offerings by travel management companies (TMC) to meet the demands of Australian business travellers. Valuable insight was provided for both buyers and providers of business travel services.
Further specialist workshops and forums are planned by GBTA this year to address travel risk management, duty of care and specialised industries within Australia such as the energy, mining and resources sector.