The travel trade has been urged to keep a level head following a worldwide string of incidents.


ABTA member operational support manager Susan Lamb said Rhodes fires, two separate bombings in Turkey and Torremolinos and the shooting of a honeymooning couple in Antigua initially appear to spell bad news for the travel trade.


But with a relatively uneventful 12 months beforehand, Lamb said the latest events should be treated as a spike, not the shape of things to come.


Lamb added: “It tends to work like that, particularly during the height of the summer season. You get several incidents happening together and then it all goes fairly quiet.”


She added that, out of all the incidents, the attack in Antigua has prompted the most calls to ABTA from consumers, although even these have been in single figures.


Lamb added the fires in Rhodes had proved the effectiveness of the association’s text message alert service after it was deployed for the first time since its launch in May.


As many as 137 agencies were kept informed of the fire as it spread during the week. Following the service’s success, Lamb urged more agents to sign up.


Long-haul specialist Trailfinders managing director Tony Russell said the trade is adept at dealing with crises.


“We have had a lot of experience of crises and the way we handled Kenya at the turn of the year was so much better than the way we handled September 11. You need reliable information and we work closely with destination management companies.


“You have a legal and moral responsibility to people and you need someone responsible for the crisis team every weekend.”