15 June 2020

Responding to risk requirements of diverse business travellers

Nearly half of all countries or territories in the world have no protections in place for members of the LGBT+ communities. When travelling on business, LGBT+ employees can face many risks, from legal issues and imprisonment to discrimination and falling victim to hate crimes.

Nearly half of all countries or territories in the world have no protections in place for members of the LGBT+ communities. When travelling on business, LGBT+ employees can face many risks, from legal issues and imprisonment to discrimination and falling victim to hate crimes.

Businesses can source the latest travel risk information for their LGBT+ staff as part of their corporate travel planning.

Riskline’s team of analysts around the world has reviewed and updated their advice to LGBT+ travellers in their comprehensive country reports. The latest information gathered in situ by analysts on the ground is now included in the reports which cover every county in the world.

This revised guidance provides up to date advice to LGBT+ travellers on country attitudes, legalities, and – if relevant – accepted behaviour and areas to avoid. In some countries LGBT+ travellers can face risks including imprisonment to discrimination and falling victim to hate crimes.

LGBT+ traveller information from over 220 of Riskline’s country reports include:

• Out of the 225 countries and territories covered, homosexuality is deemed legal in 154 or has no law in place.
• 109 countries or territories had no protections in place for members of the LGBT+ communities. The majority of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Northern Europe, some parts of Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean.
• Societies in 39 countries or territories are widely accepting of LGBT+ people, 82 somewhat, and 104 generally not accepting. This is predominantly in sub-Saharan African and the Middle East and North Africa.

The corporate travel sector is now beginning to recover from the crisis and Riskline’s advice is particularly timely this Pride month as Research shows that the LGBTQ community is still willing to travel, even when there are risks associated. A recent poll conducted by The Harris Poll found that while still cautious at this stage, LGBT+ appetite to return to travel was outpacing the population at large, with 51 percent of LGBT+ adults expecting to travel for vacation sometime in 2020 versus 46 percent of non-LGBT+ adults. Another poll by the IGLTA found that two thirds (66 percent) of respondents would feel comfortable traveling again for non-essential/non-business reasons before the end of 2020.

Suzanne Sangiovese, Commercial & Communications Director, explains: “With research indicating that the appetite to travel may be returning, travel managers now need to look to the future and plan ahead. Accessing the latest – and most detailed travel risk advice is crucial – a basic level of information is not enough. “Employers and travel managers may think that they already have "duty of care" obligations met, so why do they need to have more of it? Duty of Care isn't one size fits all.

“It's crucial for travel managers to understand that travellers are a diverse group of individuals, and not everyone has the same risk profile and/or needs. To ensure travellers have a safe travel experience it's important to be aware of these differences and mitigate any risks associated with them.”

Detailed information includes digital advice

Riskline’s comprehensive country reports include a high level of detail, even down to recommendations on social media activity – when travelling in some countries it is advisable to review privacy settings on social media platforms and reconsider the use of dating applications due to the risk of harassment and possible entrapment by local authorities.

Suzanne continues: “This detailed level of information helps travel managers to not view the rest of the world through the situation in their own country. For example, in some cities that see high rates of business travel like Frankfurt, Brussels, Barcelona, Sydney and Vancouver, homosexuality and gay marriage is legal, and widely accepted socially. However, that's not the case in other countries like Singapore and the United Arab Emirates where homosexuality and gay marriage is illegal and generally not socially acceptable.”