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International SOS helps found African Business Travel Association

International SOS, the health care, medical assistance and security services company has become a founding partner of the African Business Travel Association (ABTA), which was launched in Johannesburg earlier this week.
ABTA will provide a platform for African business travel professionals to work together towards elevating the standard of the business travel industry across the continent through education, innovation and collaboration.

International SOS helps organisations manage the health and safety risks facing their international travellers and expatriates. "We therefore welcome the formation of ABTA, as we believe education is the foundation of risk management. We expect to play a pivotal role in the education of the continent's key role players on health and safety issues affecting the business travel industry," said Dr Ian Cornish, regional MD of International SOS.

Increase in economic liberalisation

"The continent has experienced a significant increase in economic liberalisation over the last decade and Africa is increasingly visible in the global travel industry."

ABTA will provide its members with relevant and instantly useable benefits and opportunities for learning and professional development. Members will have access to educational industry events, certified training, resource materials and online expert advice on various travel management topics.

ABTA's initial focus will be on South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, with expansion across Africa over the next few years. It is the official partner for Africa of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

Prevention better than cure

Cornish said that addressing health and safety issues in travel management not only assists the traveller, but also makes economic sense for companies. "Prevention is better than cure and by putting plans in place to manage routine and emergency travel incidents, in advance, can save organisations considerable resources and expenses. We look forward to working with ABTA to deliver this message to Africa's corporate sector."

With offices in seven African countries, International SOS supports clients on remote projects in another 16 and operates from 10 clinics across the continent.

ABTA's other founding partners are Diners Club International, ACTE Global and Protea Hotels.
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