22 Aug

Ask the Expert- Wildfires

With lots of media reporting on wildfires this summer, could you give me some tips on how to reassure people concerned about the possibility of a wildfire affecting their holiday?

There has been a lot in the news this summer about wildfires, so it’s only natural that people may have questions about how this could affect their holidays. It’s good to be in a position to be able to reassure them.

Wildfires are a common occurrence during the hotter months in many countries around the world and these destinations are well prepared to deal with them quickly and effectively. Firefighting efforts are led by the local authorities and where necessary, they may bring in further specialist assistance from other regions or countries. In addition, tour operators will work with local authorities and the FCDO to support their customers on holiday. Generally, wildfires are brought under control swiftly and most travellers are unlikely to be directly impacted.
When wildfires occur, they’re often in sparsely populated areas some distance away from tourist areas. In the unlikely event your customers are affected by a wildfire they should always follow the advice of the local authorities, including where evacuation notices are in place.
Regardless of whether there are active wildfires, it’s good practice to remind your customers that when out and about they ensure that cigarettes, matches, barbecues etc are fully extinguished and disposed of in a safe way.

In terms of keeping updated, we would encourage you to liaise with your tour operator, they will have locally based ground handling agents and will be able to provide up-to-date information during situations such as wildfires.
ABTA has a range of resources available to support members during operational and crisis situations abta.com provides rolling customer information updates that you can signpost to.  If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up to receive our operational bulletins which keep members informed on worldwide crisis events that could impact your programmes. Finally, don’t forget that you can contact the ABTA Destinations team if you need support or assistance by emailing destinations@abta.co.uk

Donna Mehmet, ABTA’s Senior Destinations Executive