Peter Fankhauser, the former chief executive of collapsed travel giant Thomas Cook, will continue in his personal role as a trustee of the Safer Tourism Foundation.

Thomas Cook took a leading role in creating the charity, which aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses occurring to people travelling abroad.

The Safer Tourism Foundation was established in 2016, 10 years after the deaths of two children, Bobby and Christi Shepherd, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday with Thomas Cook in Corfu.

Thomas Cook provided the initial £1 million funding for the charity which has since established a regular income following the launch of the Safer Tourism Pledge, signed by more than 20 travel brands.


More: Safer Tourism Foundation keen to work with more travel agents

Operators sign up to new Safer Tourism pledge

Thomas Cook boss urges industry-wide support for safer tourism charity


Kathy Atkinson, chief executive of Safer Tourism Foundation, said: “Like the rest of the industry, we were devastated to hear the news of Thomas Cook.

“It had been instrumental in the setting up of our charity and we had good relationships with many of their staff.

“[Peter Fankhauser] has lots of personal investment in the charity – but that will carry on. He is still keen to work with us and I am pleased he will carry on.

“We will miss their industry expertise as they were very vocal but I am sure we will meet those [Thomas Cook] people again in the industry.”

The charity was originally set up following conversations between Fankhauser and Sharon Wood, the mother of Bobby and Christi Shepherd.

Carbon monoxide safety is still a key theme for the foundation and it is playing a leading role in Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (November 18-24).

“We will be building awareness about peer-to-peer booking sites such as Airbnb, highlighting issues for guests and hosts,” said Atkinson.

“We are keen to work with this massive sector, which is hard to regulate.”

The foundation is also calling for better support for grieving families after a loved one dies abroad.

It backs the Victims’ Commissioner’s recent recommendations which highlight the needs of families of homicide victims.

But the foundation says the recommendations do not go far enough, and the UK’s current support for grieving families of relatives that have died abroad will remain “fragmented and inconsistent”.

Atkinson said: “Whether the death was of natural causes, a result of malicious intent, or an accident, the level of support available to families remains largely unchanged since our founder, Sharon Wood, experienced it first-hand as she fought for justice for her children Bobby and Christi Shepherd. Reform is long overdue, and while we support the Victim’s Commissioner’s efforts, we feel the recommendations do not go far enough.

“Most travel industry professionals will be unaware of the two-tier system of support being proposed: one helping bereaved families of victims of homicide and the other for victims of any other cause of death.

“The best advice for all travellers is to have the right holiday insurance for their circumstances, and that isn’t necessarily the cheapest.”

Pictured: Fankhauser with Sharon Wood at the official launch of the charity in 2017.