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Knowledge Gap Widens for US-Based International Business Travelers

While safety remains the highest priority for US-based business travelers, when travelling internationally these same business people feel the least prepared to deal with political unrest. These are some of the findings in the second annual Asterisk International Business Traveler Study published by Europ Assistance USA and their partner Drum Cussac. Europ Assistance USA and Drum Cussac polled five hundred US-based business people who had taken at least three trips internationally within the last twelve months.

The number one concern of those polled was safety - including personal security, terrorism, and radicals. 83% of travelers polled stated that safety and the ability to take care of their medical needs while travelling internationally were their highest priority. "The two years of data is very robust," said Guillaume Deybach, CEO Europ Assistance USA. "There's a significant knowledge gap between what business travelers think they know and what they actually know."

The Asterisk study found that the knowledge gap for business travelers continues down to a personal level. While fully half of those surveyed stated that they had required some level of medical care while traveling abroad, almost as many (44%) were unsure if their health insurance company provided them with the same benefits abroad as they receive at home.

Deybach said, "I am not sure what is worse for a business, asking an employee to take on an unnecessary risk or avoiding an opportunity entirely, out of fear. The right tools and intelligence will help reduce these risks, help open new markets, and enable better decision making."

Asterisk is an enterprise travel risk management service from Europ Assistance and Drum Cussac, two internationally renowned and highly trusted assistance and risk management providers. Other highlights from the second annual Asterisk International Business Traveler Study include:

  • 45% of respondents said their company does not offer a plan to assist travelers with travel-related emergencies or they do not know about it, with 80% indicating their company does not have a formal emergency or communication plan.
  • An overwhelming 90% of respondents felt unequipped to handle a natural disaster or political unrest/riots while traveling, while 82% felt unequipped to find a local doctor.
  • Travelers are increasingly concerned about the ability to use their communications devices, such as cellphones, smart phones, and computers - as these are vital links for their security as well as their business.
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