Some sources claim that already two-thirds of all business travelers are women. Others indicate that women are the fastest growing segment of business travelers. Yet the travel industry still largely operates as if it were catering only to their male counterparts exclusively.
The top concern for women travelers? Literally everybody’s top priority: personal safety.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) published a new research paper last June – aptly summarized by Skift: Four out of five U.S. women business travelers said they had experienced a safety issue in the last year. (Download the full infographic right here.)
A worrisome sign to say the least. But how exactly can we provide women with a better, more secure travel experience? Join us on this womanly short trip and find out.
First, let’s face the facts
Before we dive in headfirst, let’s take a closer look at some key takeaways from the research. The results can be grouped into 3 categories:
- Lodging safety first
Barely 44 % of travel buyers say their companies recommend female-friendly lodging rooms.
- Lines of communication
Only half of female travelers report security issues. And 18% of travel buyers say their company does not offer an assistance hotline.
- Duty of care
Only 18% of corporate travel policies specifically address matters related to the safety needs of female business travelers. And 61% of travel programs “rarely” or “never” provide chauffeured transportation.
So, what should you do differently?
The hard part. Thankfully, the GBTA included 3 essential recommendations based on its polling of 503 female business travelers:
- Book rooms on the third or higher floors of hotels to which there is very limited access from the outside, and only in hotel properties with 24-hour onsite security.
- Provide registered chauffeured ground transportation, especially in foreign markets as an added layer of security risk reduction.
- Finally, offer the option to refuse a destination due to elevated risk.
The devil is in the details
GBTA also published a list of various travel safety and security advice specific to female travelers. Among others, you should consider providing:
- information on health concerns such as traveling during pregnancy and stress
- confidence and assertiveness training
- geographical awareness and support to limit exposure to crimes against women
- emergency contact details, and communication channels and potential challenges
Protect your female travelers
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