Recent protests on the streets of Hong Kong underscore the importance of awareness for international business travelers and tourist concerned about travel security. As events unfolded in Hong Kong, as of this writing, peaceful protests that drew millions of citizens to the streets quickly evolved into a scenario of vandalism and police intervention. Civil unrest can occur anywhere, and peaceful protests can rapidly turn into something frightening and dangerous for anyone who might be a bystander or traveling through the impacted location. No one knows how the future will unfold in Hong Kong, but one thing is certain: Hong Kong is a major center of international business, and it has a significant number of international business travelers at any moment. It’s a good example and profound reminder of how political uncertainty can impact even the most mundane business trip. You might be traveling to Hong Kong (or Mexico City, or Jakarta, or Los Angeles for that matter), and think you can “ignore” politics, but you can’t. Indeed, you wouldn’t travel to New Orleans in August without checking a weather report and looking at the potential for a hurricane. Similarly, checking the “forecast” for political instability via GlobalSecur is a good idea, no matter where you are traveling internationally.
Awareness of International Travel Security
Heightened awareness of current events can help business travelers and tourists navigate more safely in areas where protests and civil unrest are taking place. Because of the unpredictable nature of events that involve large crowds, advance knowledge about the type of unrest and the area where it is taking place can help travelers plan their routes and schedules accordingly. Civil unrest can also impact more than just the immediate area; it can cause disruption to wider transportation schedules and routes, which can in turn impact a traveler’s ability to get to meetings or other destinations on time.
Accessing reliable information before and during travel is advisable. Doing so helps travelers avoid attempts to interpret media reports in various language or try to evaluate fluid and potentially risky situations while in the midst of crowd activity. When planning a trip, travelers should seek information about planned large-scale events or travel advisories at their intended destinations, sourced from government databases or international security experts. Pre-travel briefings can help keep travelers informed, as can advisory bulletins provided as events unfold throughout their period of travel. Receiving as-needed updates can prove valuable for travelers seeking to measure potential scope of a situation and take appropriate precautions when necessary.
If you’re interested, reach out to our team of international security experts at IMG GlobalSecur. We can help your company create a systematic plan for improving your awareness of International travel safety and security for your employees.