Abta supports call for Europe-wide accommodation safety rules

Abta supports call for Europe-wide accommodation safety rules

Abta is backing a call for new tourism accommodation safety legislation across Europe.

Tourism minister Tracey Crouch pledged to meet the association to ensure the industry understands its “duty of care” to holidaymakers.

She was speaking during a House of Commons debate led by Labour’s Mary Creagh who reiterated calls for a Europe-wide campaign for improved carbon monoxide safety.

Creagh is the local MP in Wakefield for the families of Bobby and Christianne Shepherd who died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty boiler on a Thomas Cook holiday to Corfu in 2006.

An Abta spokeswoman said: “We have been driving calls in Brussels for an EU Tourism Accommodation Safety Directive to ensure that there are common minimum safety standards in tourism accommodation across Europe with consistent enforcement in all member states.

“In particular, Abta believes there is a need for common standards for swimming pool safety, fire and fuel safety, food hygiene and accommodation safety.”

She added: “We believe carbon monoxide safety should be considered as part of this wider directive.

“While carbon monoxide detectors can provide a warning, the EU’s focus should be on ensuring service providers are obliged to comply with adequate legislation on the installation, servicing and maintenance of fuel burning appliances, so as to prevent issues arising in the first place.

“The primary responsibility for health and safety lies with accommodation suppliers, who are currently governed by local laws and standards.

“A common tourism accommodation framework and enforcement regime will help deliver consistent levels of health and safety for travellers across Europe.”

The European Commission issued a Green Paper consultation process to get feedback from different stakeholders across the EU on the issue last year.

“We welcomed this as a first step, and submitted a detailed response,” said the Abta spokeswoman.

“It is vital that the Commission takes this initiative forward with the support of the UK government and other EU institutions to provide a more reliable and consistent safety framework, and that this agenda continues on the Commission’s work programme.”

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