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Business travelers feel safest in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, survey finds

Terrorism is one of the biggest concerns for business travelers, ahead of other threats such as street crime and disease outbreaks, while Los Angeles is considered among the world’s safest destinations, according to an online survey of nearly 800 business travelers.

L.A. ranked behind only Washington, D.C., and ahead of London and New York among cities ranked as the safest by business travelers polled by the GBTA Foundation, the research arm of the Global Business Travel Assn.

Turkey, Mexico and Lagos, Nigeria, were the destinations considered “unsafe” or “not safe at all” by the most business travelers.

How safe business travelers feel about visiting a city is crucial, because 48% of those surveyed said they would avoid traveling to a high-risk destination even if it hurt their career, the survey found.

Terrorism ranked as the greatest concern when traveling among 45% of business travelers, with 15% citing street crime and 13% calling a disease outbreak the biggest worry, according to the online survey of 798 people who traveled for business at least four times in the past year, including at least one international trip. It was taken in September but released in March.

In ranking the safety of 16 destinations, 73% said they felt safe in Washington and 72% felt safe in Los Angeles, 70% picked London and 66% cited New York.

Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, credited Mayor Eric Garcetti and his administration for the city’s safety record.

“We are very pleased to hear that the important business traveler audience surveyed by the GBTA Foundation feels safe in L.A,” he said.

More than half (53%) of those surveyed said they feel Turkey is “unsafe” or “not safe at all,” followed by Mexico at 42% and Lagos at 37%, the survey found.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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