19 Aug

Being prepared for major events

The pandemic still remains by far the biggest issue affecting travel’s operations. However as travel slowly restarts, two natural events this week, as well as the forest fires impacting many destinations, serve as a reminder that other incidents can have a significant impact on tourism and travel, at a local or regional level.

Weather events and natural disasters of course haven’t stopped during the pandemic but, with so much less travel taking place, they have typically had a smaller impact on our sector than normal. As I write, Tropical Storm Grace – close to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands – is forecast to be upgraded to a hurricane and is progressing towards the Yucatan Peninsula. And earlier this week we saw the tragedy of the second major earthquake to strike Haiti in 11 years.

As travel slowly opens up and people resume travelling overseas in greater numbers, it is important that, as well as managing the impacts of COVID, we look beyond the pandemic to consider the health, safety and crisis response measures in place to support travellers who may be affected by accidents, incidents and these types of natural disasters.  

To help Members navigate this process, the ABTA Destinations team produces Operational Bulletins designed to alert Members to significant issues that may have the capacity to affect operations overseas. Both in and out of office hours the team provides updates, together with links to authoritative sources, explaining what’s happening and providing advice.  Issues range from severe storms and volcanic activity through to changes in FCDO travel advice and Covid-related developments.

If you haven’t previously seen the Bulletins, you can choose to sign up to email alerts for regions of the world, or you can view all the latest Operational Bulletins on our website. Both can be accessed via the Member Zone by visiting the ‘Operational Support’ pages.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive