The 13th November attacks in Paris were wide ranging and brought into clear focus the growing need for corporate travel managers to consider travel risk even to destinations that are traditionally considered 'safe'.
According to Euromonitor, Paris is the fifth most popular destination for arrivals and business travel is particularly important. Of the 15 million travellers who arrived in the city in 2014, 38% of them were there on business.
It is interesting to look at what happened in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015. The French government was quick to step up security and reassure travellers and indeed, the number of arrivals was up in Q1 2015 compared to the previous year.
So what has happened since the November attacks?
Research by travel data intelligence providers ForwardKeys shows there was a spike in cancellations, particularly in business and meetings-related travel, and a fall off in demand for future bookings, as shown in the chart below.
The company says that the number of cancellations returned to normal levels within a week of the attacks but future bookings have been affected.
The company also looked at different booking channels. Business travel has proven more resilient than leisure travel. The fall in new bookings from corporate travel agents was 18% in the week after the attacks compared to 26% for high street travel agents and 38% for online travel agents.
The fact that COP21 was held successfully in the French capital shortly after the attacks will have done much to dispel concerns about security but the longer term effect remains to be seen.