Commenting on the British Behaviour Abroad report released today (Tuesday 25 August) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Chief Executive of ABTA, the Travel Association Mark Tanzer said:
“We fully support the objectives of the ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign, and while the Foreign Office provides an essential service and dealt with over 19,000 consular cases last year, British people took nearly 70 million visits abroad in 2008, showing that the vast majority of those British people behave well when they are abroad and complete their trips without causing or encountering any trouble.
“We thoroughly endorse the sentiment that travellers should have a great time abroad, but they do need to make the necessary preparations. Taking out appropriate travel insurance can save thousands of pounds and prevent unnecessary stress, while being aware of local laws and customs of destinations can keep you out of trouble with local police and stop you causing unintended offence to local people.”
• ABTA’s Code of Conduct obliges Members to make travellers aware of Foreign Office advice for the country they are going to.
• ABTA supports the FCO’s concerns about mopeds, motorbikes and drink-related incidents such as balcony falls. ABTA produced a Health and Safety leaflet earlier this summer, which highlighted these issues and can be found at http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/staying-safe/checklist
• ABTA, in conjunction with its Members works closely with destination authorities around the world on tourism related issues, such as health & safety, security and customer behaviour to maintain standards and help local communities benefit from tourism.
• The number of hospital cases in the report are only ones that required FCO intervention. There are significantly more hospital cases every year, which emphasises the need for travellers to have appropriate travel insurance and medical cover.