Make sure you’re prepared with health, safety and security advice, says Nikki White, head of destination sustainability at Atba

From protecting your business against the rising number of fraudulent holiday sickness claims to making sure that your frontline staff are prepared to answer questions on travel advice and accessible travel, it is not too late to make sure your business has some necessary plans in place.

As the summer season kicks off, here’s how to make sure you are ready.

Gastric illness

Data from Abta members has shown a dramatic rise in the number of gastric illness claims made since 2013, while sickness levels reported in resort have remained stable.

Abta has produced a guidance note for accommodation providers to help to protect their business against the rising number of fraudulent sickness claims.

It advises on best practice, preventative measures and operational steps that can be taken in relation to gastric illness.

As resort teams and destination management companies are the ‘eyes and ears’ in destination, make sure they are fully briefed on how to deal with this issue ahead of the summer season so they can work together with their suppliers to implement a strategy for managing claims.

Safety and security

Safety and security issues are very high‑profile, which is why at Abta’s spring regional meetings we are highlighting counterterrorism awareness and training provided by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

The training aims to help people understand the nature of the current threat and provide advice for what to do if involved in a potential situation.

This training contains important messages and tips; there is still time to register for your free place now at your nearest meeting.

Accessible travel

Meeting the needs of customers with disabilities is not only a legal requirement for travel companies but also makes good business sense.

By improving accessibility, you are making your business more attractive to the 15% of the world’s population (WHO, 2016) who live with some form of disability.

It is worth making sure that you can meet the needs of this important group. Abta members can download our practical guides and our Checklist For Disabled And Less Mobile Passengers.

Health and safety on holiday

When we relax on holiday, there can be a tendency to forget about basic health and safety, so before customers travel and while they are in resort, remind them of the steps they can take to avoid potential pitfalls.

For the past few years, we’ve partnered with the Foreign Office (FCO) to draw attention to water safety and balcony safety in particular.

Travel advice

Finally, I would highlight the importance of making sure that prior to booking, you make your customers aware of where to find FCO advice.

As well as safety and security, this advice contains important information including details of local laws, customs and visa requirements.

Last week the FCO made changes to the way it describes the terrorism threat in destinations, adding more-specific information.

Familiarise yourselves with the new descriptions that will apply for each of the destinations you feature.