HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holiday...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Fred Olsen is just one of the many cruise lines to have been struck down by an outbreak of gastric illness recently. High profile health and safety disasters, such as food poisoning and the infamous sinking of the Costa Concordia, have caused established     brands such as Carnival Cruises to experience plummeting share prices.

TUI has even had to close its cruise telesales operation due to a fall in demand. Clearly it is time for cruise operators to take serious steps towards ensuring the safety of their guests and reduce the risk of further brand damage.

An outbreak of Norovirus is a very severe result of poor hygiene and probably the worst case scenario for a cruise ship because of its tendency to spread quickly. The good news is that it can be easy to detect and deal with through good incident management procedures. Poor hygiene should never be ignored, particularly in relation to food preparation and service, and can lead to other food related illnesses that are difficult to identify and have a longer term impact on those affected. The media always focuses on ships “plagued” with Norovirus but an outbreak of E-coli or salmonella can be just as damaging, if not more.

Cruise ships become a contained eco-system and a well managed ship needs to protect itself from “excursion pollution” when those on board leave the ship to sample the local culture and then inadvertently the local bacteria. Those leaving the ship should be given advice on what to eat, where to eat and asked to take the sort of precautions that people all too often forget whilst letting their hair down on holiday.

It is not only guests that bring local bacteria on board. Restocking points for supplies, may be found in locations that have poor standards of hygiene. Therefore, close attention should be paid to the integrity of a supply chain. The cheap priced goods from a dubious supplier may well save the company money in the short term, but the impact on the brand and share price will quickly dwarf the money saved if the food is contaminated and a costly lawsuit emerges.

The way to tackle poor hygiene and the spread of bacteria on cruise ships is to put extensive and repetitive cleaning regimes into place. Every contact surface within rooms and in common areas must be subject to effective cleaning. By effective I mean that it should be microbiologically clean and not just shiny and free from visible dirt. All too often cleaning staff are not properly trained or equipped to conduct effective cleaning. This is a fatal error as it is these members of staff that should be acting as the guardians of hygiene and are vitally important to the reputation of a brand.

Good hygiene practices should always be visible to the guest as they demonstrate an attention to detail that more observant travellers will appreciate. High standards of hygiene go hand in hand with good management practice. Regular training, systems and management guidance will all help to improve staff retention and general motivation.

Unfortunately no cruise line is immune to the risk of Norovirus and other food related illnesses. However, failure to implement the necessary processes to restrict the spread of any infection could result in negative publicity and costly legal battles. Money spent on putting the correct health and safety procedures into place is a worthwhile investment and could seriously reduce the risk of a damaged reputation.

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