Abta has ‘important role to play’ in industry’s recovery

Abta has an important role to play in the recovery from Covid-19, according to chief executive Mark Tanzer.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly Roadmap to Recovery webcast, Tanzer said: “Good quality information passing from destinations to members and from members to customers is absolutely crucial.

“There is going to be a confidence issue not just this year but into next, and we have the relationships, can aggregate the information and pass it on not just to members but to customers.”

He said: “The government has a role to play, [but] the industry also has a role in giving good information to customers [and] getting good processes in place in destination to make it as safe and trouble free as possible.”

Tanzer reported: “We’ve had 1.2 million visits to the consumer advice on coronavirus on Abta’s website. Our role in building customer confidence, getting customers to book with professional travel organisers is really important.

“We have a lot of other channels providing training and guidance for members. We have country recovery plans on the website where all the information we receive about restrictions, local protocols, health-care provisions are there for members, and that is kept up to date.

“We’ve published our own post-pandemic guide on communications with customers, risk assessments and so forth, and we’ve launched a ‘restarting travel guide’ for customers online.” This includes “tips about rebooking, Foreign Office advice and travel insurance”.

Tanzer suggested it remains too early in the recovery phase for Abta to launch a consumer media campaign “when there is so much uncertainty”.

But he said: “At some point later in the year I would hope to see us talking direct to customers, encouraging them to book.”

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