Travel Risk Management

Navigating PyeongChang, South Korea during Olympics XXIII

PyeongChang 2018 Olympics: A Land Without Google Maps

While traveling, it is always important to know how to get around, especially when abroad. Knowing where you are can save you the hassle of getting on a bus going the wrong direction or knowing whether a cab ride to the other end of town will take 15 minutes or 50 minutes. Travelers in South Korea face difficulties as two of the most popular navigation apps, Google Maps and Apple Maps, do not provide adequate coverage due to strict national security laws.
US State Department Updates Travel Advisory for Mexico

State Department Puts 5 Mexican States on ‘Do Not Travel’ List

On Jan. 10, the United States Department of State unveiled a new travel advisory system in which countries, as well as some individual provinces, are assigned a safety rating on a scale from one to four. The lowest level on the scale, Level 1, is reserved for areas in which the Department of State advises travelers to exercise normal precautions, while a Level 4 designation means that US citizens should not travel to the area. The State Department’s purpose of releasing travel advisories is twofold, in that they set guidelines regarding where diplomatic personnel may travel, and inform US citizens of where there are significant threats to security.
Winter weather & storm advice

Winter Storm Advice

The impact of a winter storm can be severe. In addition to heavy snow, high winds, and extreme cold, winter storms can cause flooding, storm surges, and road closures, as well as bring down power lines. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and can cause power outages that may last for days. Roads and walkways may be impassable or closed except for critical transportation needs. Injuries may occur from exposure to cold temperatures and dangerous road conditions. Understand your risk before a weather event occurs with these tips.
View overlooking Sana'a, Yemen

Assassination of Former President Saleh Makes Ending the War More Difficult

The assassination of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside of Sana'a on Dec. 4 not only led to an increased spasm of violence between Saleh's supporters and the Shi'a Al-Houthi rebel, but has ultimately made ending a seemingly intractable civil war even more difficult. After more than two years of a conflict that has killed roughly 10,000 people, wounded nearly 50,000 others, displaced more than three million, and destroyed much of the county's infrastructure, it has become increasingly apparent that a military solution to ending the war cannot be attained by either side. A mediated settlement was seen as the only viable solution, and with the elimination of Saleh, the opposing sides will likely dig in their heels for a protracted conflict that will further decimate the poorest country in the Arab World.
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

When examining the nuclear tensions in the Korean Peninsula, it is essential to separate rhetoric from reality. It is easy for the US to threaten North Korea with a preemptive strike against Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. It is also very easy for Kim Jong-Un to speak of a devastating war against the United States and its allies. However, it is much more difficult for either North Korea or the US to carry out these threats without inviting retaliation from the other side. Assuming the essential strategic rationality of both the US and North Korea, neither country is likely to purposefully initiate military action.
2017 Atlantic hurricane season map

Threat Exists for Above Average Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2018

The conclusion of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season on Nov. 30 likely comes as welcome news to those who were impacted by tropical activity in the US, Caribbean, and Central America. While individuals should take advantage of this respite in activity to rebuild devastated communities, it is never too early to start thinking about next year's hurricane season. Individuals and organizations with tropical vulnerabilities should remain vigilant and review contingency plans, particularly following the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
executive-order

Update: Executive Order on Travel Restrictions

iJET's intelligence team with guest speaker Alejandro N. Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security hosted a webinar update focussed on the Executive Order on travel restrictions. The panel addressed known and potential impacts for global businesses and the travel industry and provided an update on the current state of legal proceedings generated by the order. Watch Now. 

Citizens of Seven Countries Barred Entry to US by Executive Order; Reciprocal Bans Being Adopted or Considered

On Jan. 27, the US government issued an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days; all Syrian citizens are barred until further notice. The order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. The Trump Administration has stated that more countries could be added to the travel ban via a presidential proclamation. Reciprocal travel restrictions are possible for US citizens traveling to the blacklisted countries.

Coping with the Fear of Flying

Air travel has become a routine part of modern life and is one of the safest modes of transportation. However, fear of flying is a growing phenomenon with which many people have to learn to cope regardless, due to job requirements or family needs. The growing number of people exhibiting fear of flying has been attributed to the increasing number of people flying and the increasing perception of security and health concerns associated with air travel.

Drug Trafficking Landscape in Mexico: Looking Ahead to 2017

As a follow on to our August 17th Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) in Mexico security preparedness webinar, we'll explore the rivalry between two of Mexico's most powerful DTOs and provide a forward-looking analysis of how the drug trafficking landscape might change over the next year. 

Live from Rio: Protesters Serve as Welcoming Committee at Galeo International Airport

iJET Americas Intelligence Analyst, Abbott Matthews is on the ground in Brazil to cover the Rio 2016 Olympic Games throughout August. Stay tuned for related iJET alerts and Olympic Briefs in the Daily Intelligence Briefing beginning Aug. 5.
LGBT-Travel-Olympics

LGBT Travelers Could Face Risks During 2016 Olympics In Brazil

In Rio de Janeiro, the primary location for the majority of the 2016 Olympics events, LGBT travelers are likely to be safest in areas with a high concentration of LGBT venues and in mid- to upper-class neighborhoods but should maintain a low profile if attending the Olympic events or visiting parts of Rio other than areas along the southern beaches.

Challenges for Transgender International Travelers

After a series of high-profile incidents between Transportation Security Agency (TSA) agents and transgender travelers in mid-2015, LGBT rights organizations and travelers report that security processing during domestic travel has become less fraught. However, the way security personnel at airports outside the US treat transgender individuals is inconsistent, leading to situations where transgender international travelers still face insensitivity and confusion, such incidents can be emotionally difficult and disruptive to travel.

A Cidade Maravilhosa: Will the Olympic Games live up to Rio de Janeiro's nickname?

Rio de Janeiro’s nickname, the Marvelous City, is coming under fire as the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games approach. On June 17, Rio de Janeiro State Interim Governor Francisco Dornelles did the improbable: declared an economic state of emergency with just 49 days until opening ceremonies. Fearing a “total collapse” of the public security, transportation, health, and education infrastructure, Dornelles essentially filed for a state’s version of bankruptcy. To avoid possible strikes and protests that could disrupt the Games, the federal government was forced to step in and provide BRL 2.9 billion (USD 868 million) to the state.
health-concerns-rio-2016

Health Concerns - Rio 2016: What to know before you go to Brazil

Travelers participating in or attending the pre-game events and/or the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics should be aware of the many health concerns at Rio 2016 in Brazil. The threat of infectious disease outbreaks will be especially heightened during the Olympics as mass gatherings create the ideal setting for the importation and spread of diseases. Therefore, education regarding pre-travel immunizations, precautions for food, water, and insect bites, and ensuring an understanding of the local health resources are vital to mitigating the health threats in Brazil.

LGBT Travel Advice: Marriage and Immigration When Traveling

LGBT travel advice for married same-sex travelers is nearly impossible to provide across the board as laws on homosexuality and social acceptance vary from country to country. Let's take a look at some helpful guidelines for global LGBT travelers who are asked the question "are you married?"

Orlando Attack Not an Indicator of Overall Increase of Threats to LGBT Community

Despite the shooting in Orlando, the overall threat to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in the US is unlikely to increase over the next six to 12 months. There is a baseline of anti-LGBT sentiment that will persist within conservative religious communities in the US, but this event is not an indicator of a larger anti-LGBT campaign sponsored or specifically staged by the Islamic State (IS).

Visiting Cuba: Tourists Lining Up to Visit Cuba, but Many Obstacles Remain

Travel companies and development agencies project that millions of US citizens will visit Cuba in the next decade. Knowing what to expect can help travelers avoid some of the biggest pitfalls.

Understanding the EU Air Safety List

The European Union’s EU Air Safety List, commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as the EU Airline Blacklist, is frequently used by travel risk managers and other authorities to help determine the safety of an airline. However, the Air Safety List is widely misunderstood. We address some FAQs to help security managers understand what it can – and cannot – do to support travel decisions.

Female Travel Security and Health Challenges Focus: International Women's Day

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to take the opportunity to applaud the strides women have made in gaining gender equality in politics, business, and human rights.

Traveling in Islamic Countries: Social Faux Pas’ Can Make or Break a Business Relationship

Muslim countries vary widely in languages, customs, practices, and attitudes towards women and the LGBT community. However, there are cultural norms common to most, if not all, Islamic countries that should be observed to make the most of your business relationships.