With all the confusion and debate surrounding 2021 and the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s even more crucial than ever to be well informed. Especially in the travel industry, there is a lot of precautions, restrictions, destination requirements, and advice that consumers need to ensure their safety.
What Information Needs to Be Provided on Travel Requirements?
To ensure that consumers are able to be provided appropriate protection for their holidays, and so that they can make the right choices for them when it comes to the traffic light destinations, Themis Advisory director Jo Kolatsis has said that travel professionals and companies should consider, “Is a reason needed to travel or to enter the destination? Is there a testing requirement? Is there testing on arrival? Is there are requirement to quarantine? Are there restrictions in place in the destination or restrictions on services?”
All these questions need to be carefully taken into account and advised upon for consumers. From up to date information on the traffic light system, to country specific restrictions, to FCDO advice, and requirements for returning to the UK.
The Travel Service Obligations
Kolatsis went on to explain that though it is the consumer’s responsibility to be on top of information concerning their destination requirements, it is the obligation of travel agents or travel organisations to provide this information.
As the businesses selling travel to these countries to the consumer, it is in travel businesses’ best interests, but also their obligation to provide information that will allow the consumer to be well protected and be prepared for their holiday.
Kolatsis continued to detail that travel businesses should “include [information on] cancellation and amendment rights,” as things are subject to change after the consumer books.
There are so many things that can change, from big things that will trigger a full refund, to small things like the country’s restrictions that, Kolatsis said, travel businesses need to look at it “case by case”.
“A requirement to wear face masks would not be significant, but an evening curfew could be,” Kolatsis said.
How Can Travel Businesses Protect Consumers?
It is important that the consumers are aware of what needs to be done. There are certain things like contracting Covid abroad that will be insured, and others that won’t.
Equally, resorts have obligations to provide in certain situations, but there are many circumstances that will require insurance to protect. What can they be protected against? How can they be protected? Do we, in the travel service, already provide it for them?
These are important questions to answer for consumers to ensure that their package is safe, and travel can continue to expand going forward.
At the same time, we need to focus on the information we have now. Kolatsis said, “Who knows what will happen next year. You have to give the information as it stands. [But] it will be an easier conversation [later] to say restrictions no longer apply.”
If travel businesses continue to provide current information and advice on holiday travel for consumers, this will help proceedings run a lot smoother in future and will provide a much clearer take off for the travel industry.
If consumers can get a good holiday now and be as protected as possible, as informed as possible, and as safe as possible, we can only build a safer, more solid industry from this foundation of trust between travel business and consumer.
Protected Trust Service’s (PTS) Obligations
Providing safe and good quality holidays is what we believe in at PTS. Making sure that our members can provide for their consumers and protecting travel business and consumer alike is important.
In order to help our members to perform for their consumers we keep up to date on the current progress in the travel industry, and the travel requirements, and share that knowledge with our members. So if you want to know more about consumer protection in travel you can visit our page, or look to our traffic light system blog for more information on Covid restrictions in 2021.