Risk Assessment vs. Risk Mitigation: What’s the Difference, How Will it Affect my Travel Plans?

risk assessment


Despite the unprecedented speed and ease with which we can travel from point A to point B, there is a perception, by some, of growing travel risk.  While there are risks, it is wrong to assume that one is simply at the mercy of the unknown and there is little to be done about it.  Risk management can go a long way. Tapping a travel risk professional to help you do this can be a wise decision.

Conceptually, the two main aspects of this process are risk assessment and risk mitigation. Risk assessment is about identifying the hazards and risks of a given situation, such as transporting a VIP from one location to another.  Risk mitigation is about taking steps to prevent undesired outcomes, once they have been identified via assessment.

Risk Assessment

For risk assessment, we need to understand the relative importance of a number of uncertainties that are unique to the situation. Geography is one place to start. Am I travelling in a country with a high risk of kidnapping, violent crimes, terrorism, or political instability? So how does one determine a high risk of terrorism or kidnapping, for instance?  Looking at the history or track record is a critical step but is not enough.

It is also important to consider the dynamics and assess the likelihood of change, without giving oneself the illusion of knowing what is inherently unknown. The worst disasters (be it the 2008 financial crisis or 9-11 terror attacks) are almost by definition unprecedented which is why history and track record are incomplete for the purposes of risk assessment.  Looking at a large number of relevant variables can help fill these holes. For instance, a city may have no history of terrorism, but a change in the political situation or society might imply that this is a risk.

Risk Mitigation

The quality of risk mitigation can only be as good as the quality of the risk assessment done beforehand and is inherently linked to it.  For instance, if you perfectly safeguard against low risks but ignore the bigger hazards because you failed to uncover them in an assessment, the risk management has failed.  Risk mitigation itself might involve taking a different form of transportation deemed lower risk given the circumstances.  It could involve inspecting a premise before a VIP enters.  Quite simply, doing the right research and looking at the right variables will mean safer travels.

Looking to Travel?

Talk to Panoptic Solutions before you travel about a comprehensive risk assessment of your journey and the support we can offer to mitigate any risk.

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