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Travel 17th July 2018 - 2 min read

2018 FIFA World Cup fever and corporate travel

By Joni Lindes

Over 1.8 million tickets were sold for the 2018 FIFA World Cup games. Now that the flags are lowered, the beer has grown warm and the end lines in the Krestovsky stadium have started to fade, businesses are asking the question: has the FIFA World Cup 2018 impacted my business and, more specifically, my business travel programme?

While many employers may like to believe professionals skipped out on work and changed their business travel plans to grab a seat at a stadium in Moscow, only one in four professionals aware of the World Cup stated they planned to miss work during the tournament, according to the Ipsos Global Advisor survey.

The survey was conducted online amongst adults in 27 countries. Interestingly, the survey found every second viewer planned on watching World Cup games with their work colleagues.

A similar survey published by Traveldoo announced that 53% of professionals planned to network during football matches.

What about the the impact on global travel?

Traveldoo found that 80% of business travellers did not plan to cancel or postpone work trips during the World Cup.

In fact, the most significant change the World Cup had on business travel programmes was the increased considerations of risks involved with travellers who passed through Russia during their business trips and recent changes in legislation occurring as a result of this.

The World Cup and risk management

As millions of football fans arrived in Russia, travel to these areas contained several considerations previously not necessary for travel in those areas. One of these risks involved new visa requirements exclusive to the World Cup.

All foreign visitors were required to register with relevant authorities within three days of their arrival if they were staying in private accommodation.

Although Russia proved to be a safe country with fewer dangerous incidents than expected, common risks associated with many travellers in one place still came into play. These risks involved use of ground transportation, cyber security and awareness of petty crime in crowded spaces.

Risk management in an ever-changing world

If anything can be learned from the World Cup it is that risk assessment abroad can change exceedingly quickly. The risks Travel Managers would usually associate with a trip to Russia changed in a very short space of time only for a particular occasion.

Luckily the World Cup is an event followed by most of the global population but many times there could be local festivals and events causing disruption. Due to this, programmes with static risk assessment reports with no real-time notifications can potentially be a major downfall.

Travel Managers may find this worrying as they struggle with an ever-increasing workload plus keeping abreast of changes in regulations in each country their travellers visit. Managing these risks requires combining internal and external data and constant monitoring and analytical management. This can take up to several FTE’s time.

Luckily, as risks become greater, the technology to handle these risks slowly becomes more advanced. Machine learning and predictive analytics can be used simultaneously in an automated analytical tool. Risks associated with each traveller can be assessed intuitively with real time updates analysing changes in trends amongst local legislation, increased crime and volumes of travellers in an area.

With advanced risk management and real-time updates, perhaps Travel Managers may also be able to leave work on time to catch a football game with their colleagues.

Joni Lindes
By Joni Lindes
2 min read

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