Training on how to highlight Foreign Office (FCO) advice and answer difficult questions about destination safety has been launched for frontline agents.
Abta’s online training, created in partnership with the FCO, uses real-life examples from shop agents and call centre staff.
Guidelines for agents on how to make FCO website information clear and visible online and in print are also included.
The training states travel consultants must make customers aware of travel advice and tell customers where it can be found.
An animation shows scenarios in which customers are enquiring about holidays to Turkey and Egypt and advises what to say. In the examples, the agent tells the customer to check the FCO advice to decide if they are comfortable travelling there.
Last year, the inquest into the deaths of 30 Britons in Sousse in 2015 raised questions about the industry’s role in advising and protecting customers on holiday after Tui was accused of failing to inform holidaymakers of a high risk of terror in Tunisia.
Travel companies, including Thomas Cook and Tui, have since implemented changes such as including links to FCO advice on every web page.
The FCO also updated the way it describes terror threats to include the likelihood, predictability, frequency and context of attacks, as well as an assessment of local security services.
Nikki White, Abta director of destinations and sustainability, said: “Customers are increasingly looking to their travel providers to help answer difficult questions about destinations.
“We hope this training will help Abta members confidently steer their customers towards FCO travel advice and this will help their customers to travel with confidence.”
Members can access the training on Abta’s ‘Knowledge Zone’ at abta.com/abtaknowledgezone.
The association will also host an event in London on March 20 about communicating FCO advice to customers.
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