Risk Destinations: Some Predictions!

Just before this last week-end, we were speaking in the press about 'risk destinations' and the failure of brochures and UK Foriegn Office Advisories to spell out exactly what kind of problems exist in some destinations.

We have been speaking about these issues since 2007; the premise is simple - some destinations attract a higher risk, such as terrorism, civil disorder or extreme weather events. If they attract such elements, then we say, before you book, you should be given all the facts so that you the Consumer can make an informed decision about whether you want to travel to that destination or not; surely that is not unreasonable?

Equally, if government chooses to publish travel advisories, then why are they so bland; why do they not combine business advisories with ordinary advice, and, why do they not spell out in detail the nature of what is being widely reported about a particular destination?

Now I happen to think that this issue is really important because the world we live in has now become so fractious that we cannot afford anymore to simply look upon travel through the gloss of the brochure; surely Tunisia and the abstract notion of travel to Egypt has taught us that?

Through various press and radio interviews, my message has not exactly been universally welcomed; some have sought to pat me on the head and call me 'amusing'!

But whilst some will reduce the debate to personal jibes, I say that those same people are living in the past glories of some economic hey-day.

Again I say, I have absolute sympathy for those in destinations, who are not any different to you and me, who are simply trying to earn a crust to put food on the table for their families. But, the overriding distinction must surely be that a holiday destination should not have its problems glossed over nor be subject to extreme and overt security measures - is that what tourism has become - satisfying an economic model rather than encouraging the hand of experience, friendship and learning?

The mantra of those who oppose my views take succour in the fact that 'terrorism exists everywhere' (as if that is OK!), and seek to use this mantra to justify their lack of brochure or advisory candour behind this aerosol veil.

No doubt there will be some pointing to the week-end attack on the Thalys train as prove positive that they are right and we are wrong; well they would wouldn't they?

But how do they square the circle with what happens in Europe to what is happening say in Tunisia this past week? One police officer shot and killed in Sousse and attacks carried out on the border! In Egypt, draconian laws now being supplanted with additional laws and 'Sinai Province' appearing to be in the ascendancy!

So tell me now that our European situation is the same as that found in these 'popular' tourist destinations!

And here come the predictions: Travel Companies will continue to 'cancel' holidays to Tunisia now up to March 2016 - Egyptian holidays will continue to be sold without proper due diligence pre-sale advice being offered to holidaymakers - The Travel Industry in the UK will continue their 'terror everywhere' mantra and fail to address key pre-sale advices either face-to-face or in their brochures - the UK Foreign Office will maintain their incomplete advices.

So go on; prove me wrong!

Tags: Tunisia Egypt Kenya Turkey Thailand Risk Destination Travel Advisories Brochures FCO Foreign and Commonwealth Office Terrorism Pre-sale Travel Advice Travel Agents

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