Balancing Act: How to Elevate Travel Risk Management Priority Without Escalating Budgets

By: Ray Rackham

February 19, 2024  

This article is part of a series of resources focusing on Travel Risk Management, including blogposts, e-books, webinars, and podcasts. These resources have been created by CIBT in association with GBTA, following the publication of a December 2023 study entitled Travel Risk Management (TRM) in a Post-COVID World. Download the full report here.

The landscape of Travel Risk Management (TRM) is evolving, and the dynamics of resource allocation for TRM are changing. Our study in association with GBTA, 'Travel Risk Management in a Post-COVID World', provides insightful data that helps us understand this evolution in the context of resource allocation. 

TRM as a priority: Yes, but not necessarily at a greater cost 

The report indicates a nuanced scenario regarding TRM prioritization and resource allocation: 

Increased priority but flat budgets 

TRM has undoubtedly become a greater priority post-COVID, with half of the travel managers (52%) affirming this. However, this increased prioritization does not necessarily translate into increased budgets. Almost half (48%) report that their company’s overall TRM budget has not changed, and only one-third (30%) mention an increase. 

Resource reallocation 

While financial budgets for TRM may not have seen a significant increase, there's a notable shift in the allocation of human resources. A considerable number of companies are dedicating more stakeholder hours to TRM, with half (51%) of the travel managers reporting an increase in the time spent on risk-related issues by the travel program. 

Stakeholder involvement 

The number of stakeholders involved in TRM has also increased for two in five (40%) companies, indicating a more collaborative and integrated approach within organizations towards managing travel risks. 

Does greater involvement imply higher costs? 

While the data points to increased stakeholder involvement and prioritization of TRM, it prompts a critical reflection on whether this necessarily implies higher operational costs. Key insights include: 

Value of stakeholder hours 

The value of stakeholder hours is significant. As travel managers and other stakeholders devote more time to disseminating risk-related information, helping with passports, visas, or managing incidents, it might detract from other organizational priorities. This redistribution of internal resources is a cost in itself, though not directly financial. 

Efficiency vs. headcount 

The data suggests a preference for enhancing the efficiency of existing staff over increasing headcount. While this approach utilizes the existing workforce's potential, it's crucial to balance the workload to prevent burnout and ensure the quality of TRM processes. 

Consideration for outsourcing 

Organizations might need to weigh the benefits of outsourcing certain TRM functions to specialized third-party providers against managing them in-house. Outsourcing can bring in expertise, potentially reduce the load on internal resources, and may be cost-effective in the long run. 


The prioritization of TRM in the post-COVID era is evident, with a marked shift towards allocating more time and involvement from internal stakeholders. However, this does not directly translate into increased financial budgets for most organizations. Instead, it underscores a strategic reallocation and optimization of existing resources. As companies continue to navigate this terrain, striking the right balance between internal resource allocation, potential outsourcing, and maintaining the quality of TRM processes will be pivotal in ensuring effective and sustainable travel risk management. 

Travel well-informed with CIBTvisas 

An experienced visa specialist can help you navigate the complexities of border crossing requirements. Contact CIBTvisas for a quote today. 

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