Canadian Security Magazine

Study from World Travel Protection outlines potential risks to LGBTQIA+ travellers

By Canadian Security Staff   

News travel security

A new survey commissioned by travel risk management firm World Travel Protection outlines some of the safety threats and challenges experienced by employees who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Released in June, the survey’s results indicate a range of travel concerns.

According to the survey, a majority of business travelers (64% in the U.S., 56% in Canada) expressed concern about traveling to a region, state or province known to be biased against or to criminalize relationships of people who identify as LGBTQIA+. More than 70 countries criminalize same-sex relationships, according to the firm.

“We are seeing an increased backlash against the LGBTQIA+ community in many parts of the world, including here in North America, resulting in rising concerns about visiting certain regions that are unwelcoming or hostile toward the LGBTQIA+ community or that have discriminatory laws,” said Frank Harrison, regional security director, Americas, World Travel Protection, in a statement. “We know these are real and valid fears: Members of the LGBTQIA+ community can face a range of safety concerns when they travel, including harassment, violence, incarceration and even barriers to medical and security assistance.”

Harrison offered some tips to help keep LGBTQIA+ employees safe while traveling:

  • Put a comprehensive plan in place, providing pre-trip information, noting how to access medical support specific to their needs (especially in places where health care could be refused to LGBTQIA+ individuals), and outlining clear protocols for addressing any incidents that may arise.
  • Share pre-trip guidance with all employees.
  • Let employees decide whether or not to travel based on their own comfort level and perception of safety.
  • Foster an inclusive and accepting culture in the workplace.

Harrison added, “By understanding the unique risks and providing targeted support, companies can help mitigate the challenges LGBTQIA+ travelers face and promote a safer, more inclusive travel experience.”

Research for this study was conducted by Opinium Research from Feb. 1-8, 2024, amongst 1,000 adults who travel for business at least once a year in the U.S. (500) and Canada (500).

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