Research: Nearly nine in ten Malaysian female business travellers have suffered harassment while travelling

SAP Concur

SAP Malaysia Sdn Bhd has announced the results of a new SAP Concur survey, revealing that nearly 9 in 10 Malaysian female business travellers have suffered harassment while travelling, and more than 7 in 10 have changed their plans because of safety concerns.

SAP Concur is the world’s leading brand for travel, expense, and invoice management solutions. The SAP Concur survey results identified concerns of personal safety while away on business. The global survey, involving 7,850 respondents across 19 global markets, also featured over 200 Malaysian business travellers. Notable highlights include:


Malaysian business travellers often feel unsafe:

  • Of the Malaysian respondents, 74% (as compared to the global figure of 58%) say they have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe, while 55% of Malaysian business travellers cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company could provide.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) of business travellers prioritise their own safety as the most important factor when taking a business trip, while over two-thirds (69%) believe that safety is not their companies’ top priority.

Female Malaysian business travellers report high levels of harassment and sexism on the road:

  • More than 88% of Malaysian female business travellers (significantly higher than the global figure of 77%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while travelling. Women are asked if they’re travelling with their husband (62%), ignored by service workers (48%), or catcalled on the job (28%).

Business travel isn’t getting easier or less stressful for Malaysians:

  • Up to 57% of Malaysian business travellers believe their companies lag behind when it comes to adopting the latest technologies to make business travel easier.
  • An overwhelming majority (87%) are willing to share personal information to improve their business travel experience – an impressive number in an age of data privacy concerns.
  • 47% of Malaysian business travellers feel the most stress before a trip when they’re planning, booking, and organising travel. Meanwhile, upon their return, 18% of Malaysian business travellers say they would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than complete an expense report.

“Societal issues and employee experiences are increasingly impacting the way we travel. With these shifts come new expectations from travelling employees that shouldn’t go unnoticed,” said SAP Concur’s managing director for Southeast Asia, Laura Houldsworth.

“While companies continue to try and maximise traveller satisfaction, the reality is that employees are hungry for more empathy, guidance, and better technology, as they run into both common frustrations and unique individual concerns, leaving room for improvement among organisations of all sizes.”

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com), a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative, and hybrid market research, among business travellers (defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually) from the following markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey took place from July to August 2019.

In Malaysia, 216 professionals had participated in the survey.