Comment: Tragedy shows value of crisis procedures

Comment: Tragedy shows value of crisis procedures

Having spent the past 10 days laid up in bed after rupturing a disc in my back, it’s fair to say I’ve been going stir crazy.

But being immobile has meant I have been able to watch the development of major news stories from around the world, which this week included the tragic hot-air balloon accident in Luxor, Egypt.

What struck me as the story unfolded was the speed with which reputable travel companies mobilised to assess the situation and keep us in the media and the trade informed.

For Thomas Cook and Kuoni, their worst fears were realised when they received confirmation that their customers were among the dead and injured.

But the truth is that it could have been any number of agencies and operators in the same situation.

Many years of careful attention to health and safety in overseas resorts mean this sort of tragedy is mercifully rare.

But, sadly, no health and safety policy can eradicate the possibility of an accident.

The rapid response of the companies with customers in Egypt at the time served to demonstrate again why it makes so much sense for agents and consumers to deal only with reputable suppliers who are committed to high standards of service, accommodation and safety.

Nothing will be able to bring back the victims, of course. But having a proper crisis management structure in place meant staff were not only mobilised in Egypt but also at home to care for those with friends and family in resort at the time.

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