The service from Northstar Travel Media alerts travelers to events that could adversely affect their trip, such as terrorist or crime incidents, political unrest, impending strikes or health threats.
The "Intelliguide" service is available to travel agents across the United States and Canada. Some 14,000 people already subscribe to the service, which comes for free with Northstar's Weissmann Travel Reports, an industry news service on business travel and tourism. A subscription starts at $995 a year, for up to 10 travel agents.
Travel agents and corporate travel departments can enter a traveler's itinerary and e-mail address at the Intelliguide site. The site then sends the traveler daily safety reports about countries and cities they plan to visit before they leave, during the trip and even after they've returned home.
The reports are delivered mainly through e-mail, but also via cell phone text messaging or Web portal. Travelers can also download and store reports on a handheld or laptop computer.
Northstar gathers the information for the service from hundreds of sources and databases, including news wires, United Nations reports, Amnesty International, the U.S State Department and private security companies. The company has a worldwide network of more than 200 correspondents and security analysts contributing to reports, including a former British military intelligence analyst.
"No one can guarantee a safe trip, but we can certainly help people travel more safely," said David Gunderson, editor in chief of Weissmann Travel Reports.
A database of participating travel agents can be found at Weissmann's World. Northstar is a publisher of a number of magazines and newsletters for the travel and leisure industries.