ProtecTour App Is an All-In-One Travel Safety Tool
TravelPulse | March 21, 2015
A new travel safety app called ProtecTour is addressing travelers’ needs for real-time location-based information and emergency help in foreign countries.
The app, developed by TATE Global, features localized safety alerts, geo-fenced warnings, 24/7 emergency support, a “Panic” button for extreme situations and information on important locations such as embassies, hospitals, and police stations, all in one place. The app also delivers traveler location updates so loved ones and family members back home can monitor their safety.
The relevance of ProtecTour in today’s world is backed up by a study TATE Global recently commissioned. The study, a survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and over, found that respondents are more concerned with being safe (80 percent) than having fun (68 percent) during an international trip. Despite this, less than one-third of respondents (32 percent) said they would know what to do when faced with an emergency abroad.
“To put it bluntly, look at the news,” said Susan Young, managing director of TATE Global. “Whether somebody’s a newer traveler or a seasoned traveler, whether they’re traveling for business or pleasure, we watch the news every day and we see multiple different reports of things happening…You always want to take precautions and feel you have resources and tools available to you, so that’s what we’re trying to provide.”
The “Panic” button is a key feature for the ProtecTour app. If travelers find themselves in a hostile situation, they can hit the button on the app and the TATE Global team will contact the proper local authorities, as well as try to contact the user. The Panic button, as well as the app itself, stemmed from respondents indicating that they needed “a way to communicate quickly and efficiently” when in the midst of an emergency, Young said.
This is where real-time apps can be so effective. Given their mobile nature, they can be much more convenient and time-effective in terms of addressing problems for travelers.
“People wanted something that could be right in their hands,” Young said. “We all know, these days, everybody has their phone tied to their hip. [To go mobile] was the best way to be able to have this information at the ready.”
According to the survey, 89 percent of Americans would be interested in the ability to send an emergency alert on a smartphone to get help if they encountered an emergency situation abroad. Also, 87 percent of Americans find it important to pack a smartphone on an international journey, and 70 percent of smartphone users already have at least one travel app on their phone.
And, of course, giving travelers more confidence to journey to foreign destinations naturally helps the travel industry. Some notable statistics from the survey: 94 percent of Americans can name something that would prevent them from taking a trip abroad and more than one in 10 Americans report that they have opted out of an international travel opportunity because of safety concerns.
Ninety-four percent of travelers said safety concerns would impact their trip plans in some way, including causing them to cancel activities (46 percent), spend more time at their hotel (37 percent) and go home early (34 percent).
“As much as they want to have a great time, they are thinking about their well-being and their safety and their health when they are moving around in foreign countries,” Young said.
TATE Global continually monitors locations around the world to provide up-to-date travel safety information. The company also will add more information about locations based on user feedback.
For more information on ProtecTour, visit http://www.protectour.com/our-services/protectour.
To check out an infographic on the TATE Global study, visit http://www.protectour.com/travel-safety-stats-infographic.
By Ryan Rudnansky