Exclusive: What does the ISO 31030:2021 Travel Risk Management mean to real estate investors?

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The recent publication of the ISO 31030:2021 Travel Risk Management has far-reaching implications for organisations of any size and sector. Construction companies involved in the development of hotels have a lot to gain from understanding the security criteria that corporate customers apply when choosing their preferred accommodation. By responding to these expectations, construction can add value to the hotel operations.

Design of a hotel should support the policies and procedures necessary to manage the risk. It can spare the operator having to allocate resources to the security function which translates to significant financial savings further down the line. The adoption of appropriate and proportionate security measures as part of the design stage can reduce the costs substantially.

When compared with ad-hoc solutions added retrospectively, security measures that are conceived from the initial stages of the design process are less likely to conflict with existing services and utilities. They integrate better with the surrounding environment. Planning the protective measures early allows for resourcefulness, multifunctionality and cost-efficiency.

Decision-making factor

Hotels that are safe and secure are more attractive to private and corporate customers and to real estate investors. Since the publication of the ISO 31030:2021 Travel Risk Management the security criteria carries even more weight as a decision-making factor in the corporate world increasingly driven by the ESG performance requirements.

In the United Kingdom, hotels are already identified by the National Planning Policy Framework as locations that require counter-terrorism consideration. It is anticipated that the forthcoming Protect Duty legislation will class hotels in the UK as Publicly Accessible Locations (PAL). As such the appropriate and proportionate measures of risk treatment will need to be evidenced once the new legislation comes into effect.

The international character of the hotel sector means there are many inconsistencies in terms of safety and security standards. United Kingdom has the most advanced system of the built environment security in Europe with its many policy strands that relate to urban planning and crime prevention. Real estate assets can benefit from the system internationally by using independent third-party security certification schemes such as BREEAM or SABRE by BRE that apply the methodology developed from scientific research and well-evidenced best practice.

The public nature of hotels, where guests and other legitimate visitors come and go freely, provides multiple opportunities for crime including terrorist acts. Hotels are inherently vulnerable to criminals and terrorists alike. They are perceived as ‘soft’ targets, rich in opportunity to target people or their possessions. The hospitality sector is not an exception from falling a victim of cyber-criminals who use increasingly sophisticated methods to exploit the industry’s vulnerabilities for financial gain.

It is not always easy to procure the security consultancy service without having the specialist knowledge of security competence frameworks and qualifications. In the current climate where the emphasis on sustainability is stronger than ever it makes sense to include security into the scope of the environmental assessment methodology.

This ‘two birds, one stone’ approach adds commercial value by making the asset more attractive to private and corporate customers and the potential future investors whilst ensuring value for money at the design and construction stages. By assessing the built environment security value at the point of design or acquisition the real estate developers, such as hotel chains, put themselves in a position of advantage from the start.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) requires a suitably qualified security specialist (SQSS) to be a practising security consultant with minimum of three years relevant experience within the last five years. This experience must clearly demonstrate a practical understanding of factors affecting security in relation to construction and the built environment, relevant to the type and scale of the project being undertaken. They also need to hold a suitable qualification relevant to security and maintain membership to a relevant professional body or accreditation scheme that has a professional code of conduct, to which members must adhere; and where the ongoing membership is subject to peer review.

BREEAM has recently issued a ‘Knowledge Base Compliance Note’ (KBCN1485) which contains an updated list of roles and designations eligible to perform the role of SQSS for the purposes of producing Security Needs Assessments, along with compliance information to assist with the detailed selection of the SQSS on a given project.

Hinton Group are the market leader in the design, development and construction of hotels with a portfolio of over 65 venues delivered in the last 25 years. The company has recently employed CPTED-UK to provide security consultancy in support of its hotel/restaurant development in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom.

CPTED-UK

CPTED-UK is an international security consultancy with over 30 years of experience and the highest level of competence in built environment security. As SABRE Registered Professionals and Assessors, the company is one of four globally with the full range of competence in security assurance by BRE. Its professional competence is also validated by the Chartered Security Professional status and the Fellowship of the Security Institute. CPTED-UK is the only company to represent the security industry in the British government advisory bodies Design Council and the High Street Task Force and to provide technical advice to the European Commission.

The hotel sector in the United Kingdom is currently facing unprecedented challenges that impact on the threat profile and increase the risk from certain types of criminal activity. The worker shortages with job vacancies in hospitality at unprecedently high levels can compromise the staff vetting standards and increase the risk of insider’s threat. Due to the rise in e-commerce many hotels experience a surge in blue collar workers and delivery drivers who fill the hotel car parks with vans containing easily disposable items attractive to criminals.

The ongoing migrant crisis is not making life any easier for the hotel developers and operators. Following the suicide bombing in Liverpool on Remembrance Day, the British Home Secretary Priti Patel described the asylum system in the UK as ‘dysfunctional’ and the national terrorism threat level has been raised from substantial to severe. Hotels all over Europe often accommodate asylum seekers and need to be able to manage complex risks created by individuals with hostile intentions who exploit the system.

Security risks are not static and can change over time. Therefore, a consultation with competent security professionals is essential to ensure the risk mitigating measures can effectively address the current and future threats.

travel risk
Boguslawa Motylska

By Boguslawa Motylska, Director at CPTED-UK Ltd

You can connect with Boguslawa on LinkedIn here

You can follow CPTED-UK Ltd here

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