TREVOSE, Pa., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey of nearly 400 U.S.-based corporate travel managers reveals that 85 percent of respondents say their organizations were affected — in the form of stranded passengers, extended hotel stays and cancelled meetings — by the volcanic ash cloud that emanated from Iceland this past April, resulting in cancelled flights to and from Western Europe as the crisis played out.
Additionally, 33 percent of respondents (primarily corporate travel managers with additional representation from security, human resources, business continuity and other functional areas) rated the financial impact to their organizations and associated travel disruptions as "moderate" to "significant" in scope. An overwhelming majority of respondents (86 percent) said that the crisis reminded them of the unpredictability that's always present when their employees travel, and that it will affect their ongoing business continuity planning.
The survey, of 372 U.S.-based corporate travel managers, was conducted during a webinar last week by International SOS, the international healthcare, medical assistance and security services company, in conjunction with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), a leading trade association for the industry.
The volcanic ash cloud, and the travel disruptions that ensued, have led a significant number of organizations to expand their ability to access on-demand, real-time information on individuals traveling for their organizations, such as travel dates, flight numbers, lodging plans and itineraries.
One in five survey respondents (20 percent) indicated their organizations have enabled or expanded their real-time travel data and reporting capabilities since the ash cloud event. Fifty-five percent said their organizations already had such systems in place, in advance of the ash cloud event. However, 25 percent who answered the survey stated their organization does not have a real-time travel data system in place.
"The ash cloud event that occurred earlier this year demonstrated the value of having travel executives as key contributors to crisis and business continuity teams, and of having an integrated, travel risk management program in place," International SOS Group Executive Vice President Tim Daniel said. "More and more, companies want to have this capability in place before they need it — not after."
The survey follows the recent release of "Every Ash Cloud Has a Silver Lining," a new briefing from International SOS and ACTE which examines the ash cloud event, the organizational challenges that were faced by corporate travel managers tasked as a result, and, in the form of lessons learned, strategies that can be implemented in the event of potential future events that, while unique, might pose similar organizational challenges.
"Every Ash Cloud Has a Silver Lining" can be accessed here: http://www.internationalsos.com/en/news-and-events.htm
About International SOS: International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com) is the world's leading international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services company. Operating in over 70 countries, International SOS provides integrated medical, clinical, and security solutions to organizations with international operations. Services include planning and preventative programs, in-country expertise, and emergency response. A global team of 6,000 employees led by 900 full-time physicians and 200 security specialists provides health and security support to enable its members to operate wherever they work or travel. Members include 66 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies.
About ACTE: The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) represents the global business travel industry through its international advocacy efforts, executive level educational programs, and independent industry research. ACTE's membership consists of senior travel industry executives from 82 countries representing the euro 463 billion business travel industry. Our members serve more than 12 million business travelers worldwide. With the support of sponsors from every major segment of the business travel industry, ACTE develops and delivers educational programs in key business centers throughout the world. ACTE has representation in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the United States. For more information on ACTE, please go to www.acte.org.
SOURCE International SOS