Safety and security continue to be top priorities for global business travellers, a new poll reveals.

Almost half (46%) of travel managers have seen an increase in enquiries about personal safety – down from the 51% who reported an increase in October 2017 and 65% who did so in 2016.

While the rate of growth may be slowing, it remains significant, demanding that travel managers grapple with an ever-evolving threat environment, according to ACTE Global, which developed the research with American Express Global Business Travel

Ongoing traveller concern about safety and security is further driving the need for dialogue and collaboration.

The global travel landscape remains volatile and uncertain amid shifting geopolitical tensions, natural disasters and an increasingly complex web of travel security policies worldwide, according to the study.

The research, involving 200 business travel managers worldwide, reveals how they are addressing travellers’ growing demands for quality of life and autonomy on the road.

More than a third (37%) of travel managers surveyed report an increase in enquiries about work-life balance, up from 31% last autumn.

The options sought by travellers appear to present cost-saving opportunities.

Thirty-two per cent of managers saw growth in requests to use chain hotels, while 22% saw more employees asking about sharing lodgings with colleagues. Nearly two-thirds (61%) say more travellers are asking for improved technology to manage travel.

ACTE Global executive director Greeley Koch said: “Business travel can be exhausting and stressful, but pursuing a collaborative process can go a long way towards supporting healthy, rested and productive employees.

“You never want to lock your travellers into strenuous itineraries and overly-strict policies. A two-way dialogue that addresses both employee and employer requirements, however, can actually help all parties meet their objectives. In this case, compromise need not leave both sides unhappy.”

American Express Global Business Travel digital traveller vie president Evan Konwiser added: “The entire business travel experience inherently takes people outside of their comfort zones by forcing travellers to relinquish some control, especially when compared to how people travel for leisure.

“This research reinforces the importance of travel managers having frequent interaction and communication with travellers to address company expectations and tools available, mitigating the risk of poor experiences and out-of-policy bookings.”