A growing number of Hong Kong companies are seeking customised travel risk assessments and crisis-handling plans following the Mumbai terrorist attacks and the anti-government protests which shut down Bangkok's international airport late last year. One company that specialises in crisis response said it had seen a sharp increase in inquiries regarding its services in the wake of the two incidents. 'People are increasingly aware that disasters or terrorist attacks can happen at any time, especially after the Bangkok and Mumbai incidents. We have had a significant increase in inquiries since then,' said Antonio Cheung, general manager of International SOS (Hong Kong), a company that specialises in crisis response and evacuation services. Crisis response companies will inform their client's staff on how to deal with problems - sudden illnesses, natural disasters or even terrorist attacks - while travelling overseas. 'Letting them know where they should go and where they should not go is important,' Mr Cheung said. Tony Ridley, Asia Pacific security services director at International SOS, said people faced with trouble while overseas might put themselves in grave danger because they might not know of the risks involved. A Hong Kong man stranded in Bangkok during the protests last November was killed when the minibus he was travelling in crashed as he rushed from the Thai capital to Phuket to catch a flight back to Hong Kong. 'It is not appropriate to use public transport, especially at night, because of the high chance of accident,' Mr Ridley said. He said his company had recommended that its clients stay in Bangkok rather than travel to other airports to rush back home because the capital was safe, according to its assessment. SOS evacuated 25 people working for three companies during the Thai crisis, using a charter flight from a military airfield to ferry its clients to Kuala Lumpur. During the crisis the Hong Kong government said it had difficulty getting a parking slot for a charter flight from the military airfield, but Mr Ridley said his company did not have such problems. He revealed that his company had also helped more than 30 clients relocate during the terrorist attacks on luxury hotels in Mumbai. Mr Ridley, a former member of the Australian army's elite Special Air Service Regiment, a special forces unit, said security experts constantly assessed levels of risk amid disasters and attacks. Serious attacks overseas raise public awareness, Mr Ridley said. But statistics show the most common causes of death while travelling are heart attacks and traffic accidents, so responding to these common incidents was also important. About 300 companies are corporate members of SOS in Hong Kong. About half of them are multinational companies and the rest are mostly local companies from the banking and telecommunication sector. Meanwhile, the number of requests for assistance from the government by Hongkongers in distress or their families rose 57 per cent, from 1,474 in 2007 to 2,315 last year.