Abta says it has reached record levels of engagement with its members, and consumers, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Travel Association said its data indicated the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the travel sector for individuals and companies.
Abta has issued guidance on aspects of the crisis, ranging from changes to Foreign office travel advice and repatriation information to refunds for cancelled holidays.
New figures show over one million views of the abta.com ‘Coronavirus advice for customers’ page since it went live at the start of February, with an average dwell time of 8.5 minutes.
Abta said it has added additional resources to its customer support team, which fields phone calls and emails from customers, and which is working remotely during the lockdown, to keep up with demand for information. It has faced a year-on-year increase of 175% in terms of call volumes, but said “waiting times remain low”.
Abta has also been handling a record volume of media activity, managing thousands of media enquiries covering subjects such as refund delays and financial protection arrangements.
Since the start of the crisis, it has been involved in nearly 3,000 media requests including interviews, statements and press releases, including more than 70 national TV interviews with the likes of BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Weekly conference calls for members have also been introduced, alongside Abta Today email bulletins and video messages from chief executive Mark Tanzer, and free webinars.
Since the start of March, conference calls have had more than 2,000 attendees. Abta’s member-only online advice hub has had over 8,000 views.
Nine webinars conducted so far have had 1,570 member registrations.
Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This has been an exceptionally difficult time for our members and their customers. The industry has never experienced a crisis of this scale and severity, we’re continuing to do all we can to lobby political decision-makers for support.
“We’re also putting enormous effort into keeping our members and their customers informed about what is going on and ensuring they have the latest detailed and accurate information and guidance. The sheer speed and scale of developments has made this challenging, but that is our job as an association and we will continue to do so while this crisis continues.”
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