SOURCE: Europ Assistance USA

Europ Assistance USA

July 19, 2012 08:00 ET

Personal Security Is International Business Travelers' Top Concern; Many Feel Unprepared for Potential Incidents

Recent Study of Frequent International Travelers Highlights Concerns, Experiences and Level of Preparedness for Unforeseen Events

BETHESDA, MD--(Marketwire - Jul 19, 2012) - As the business travel industry prepares for its annual conference, the GBTA Convention 2012, this weekend, a recent study finds that one in three (31%) international business travelers are concerned for their personal safety. According to the International Business Traveler Study issued by Europ Assistance USA (EA USA), 27 percent are also anxious about potential terrorism or radicalism events. And while nearly three of four (74%) destinations are in Europe, 82 percent of these travelers perceive the Middle East and North Africa to be the most risky place to visit in the coming year.

The EA USA study also identified additional concerns and experiences of these travelers, as well as their level of preparedness should one of these events occur. According to the study, half (51%) of the respondents experienced a medical need while traveling, with the majority (55%) falling ill. One in two (51%) experienced a national disaster, while nearly a third (28%) encountered personal safety or security issues.

"With recent events such as the earthquake in Japan, political unrest in the Middle East and the ash cloud in Iceland, it's an unpredictable and potentially risky world out there for business travelers," said Glenn Maykish, vice president of sales and marketing for EA USA. "Understanding employee experiences and fears can help organizations better serve and protect their valuable employees while away from home."

Many of these business travelers, in fact, feel unprepared for issues that could impact their health and safety. One third (33%) are not sure how they would handle political unrest or riots, nearly one in three (30%) feel unready for a natural disaster, one quarter aren't sure they could obtain a prescription refill (24%) or find help during a medical emergency (25%), and one in five (19%) don't feel confident they could locate a local doctor. Notably, the most experienced travelers (those with 10 or more trips per year) express the highest levels of concern, although all groups are reporting increased anxiety over last year.

The good news is that travelers under a corporate duty of care program tend to feel more prepared than those without, and by a wide margin -- at least 10 percentage points or more across all indicators. A third of the respondents said their company does not offer a duty of care program, but of those that don't more than half (53%) said they would definitely or probably use the services if offered.

For more information about this survey and its findings, review the accompanying infographic or follow EA USA on Twitter and Facebook.

About Europ Assistance USA
Europ Assistance USA takes care of consumers, corporate customers and their employees when the unexpected happens, anywhere in the world, providing immediate support and assistance to individuals in times of emergency and distress. Leveraging its worldwide network of 39 always-open multilingual assistance centers and 423,000 partners in 208 countries and territories, EA USA services more than half of the Fortune 100, including insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and government organizations, providing personalized medical travel assistance, identity theft resolution, data breach response and beneficiary assistance services. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, EA USA is part of the Europ Assistance Group, which is owned by Global 500 insurance conglomerate Generali Group.

The EA USA findings are based on an online survey conducted by ORC International from May 24-26, 2012 of 500 US-based international business travelers who have taken more than three international trips in the past 12 months. Testing was conducted at 95 confidence intervals, with statistical differences between sub-groups indicated by a letter, such as A, B or C, to indicate that the number provided for the data point is significantly higher than the number for the corresponding data point indicated by the letter. Overall data can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval with a + 4.27% error margin.

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