Travel Risk Planning

Paul Tracy, a vice president

Early research and planning is an integral element of managing the risk of overseas travel.

Research overseas market conditions

Before undertaking a new investment or business activity overseas you should familiarise yourself with the local operating environment. You should seek local legal advice on business conditions and be aware of local laws. Business councils and Chambers of Commerce can provide useful opportunities to engage other businesses with experience operating in a particular environment.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supports Australian business purusing trade and investment opportunities. The Department also provides useful economic and trade information, including country profiles and fact sheets, for a range of countries.

Many countries also have investment and development authorities to assist potential investors and foreign businesses to understand local business conditions.

Understanding the threat profile for your destination

You should research the local safety and security environment before travel, even for short-term travel to destinations considered to be low threat.

The travel advice provides a level of advice for each country or, if the risk of travel is not uniform throughout the country, different levels of advice for particular regions. The travel advice contains an assessment of the current safety and security environment, including from terrorism, civil unrest and crime.

In addition, ASIO's Business Liaison Unit website provides a range of specialised advice on protective security measures for Australian companies operating overseas, particularly in high threat environments.

Specialist security consultancies are also a valuable source of information and advice on local security conditions.

Effective risk management practices

Business should adopt an 'all hazards' approach to risk management by considering a wide range of possible risks affecting business activities.

The management of risk in overseas travel involves the development of a detailed risk assessment process, training of staff and managers and adherence to safety protocols.

Businesses should adopt an 'all hazards' approach by considering the widest range of potential risks to their activities overseas.

To effectively manage the risk of overseas travel business should:

  • put in place effective risk management procedures for all overseas travel, even short-term travel to locations considered low-threat;
  • understand the threat profile of all travel destinations and establish effective ways of monitoring and mitigating these risks;
  • ensure crisis and emergency plans are regularly rehearsed, validated and understood by all staff;
  • regularly review risk profile of overseas operations.

Further information on risk assessment and risk management is available from:

Crisis response essentials

Businesses should routinely rehearse crisis response plans and ensure that all staff understand these arrangements and their respective roles in a crisis.

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