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.

How can hoteliers and tour operators work together to improve the regular flow of health and safety information, providing up-to-date intelligence which can help to avoid future liability and negative publicity? 

The current situation 
In the past, the responsibility of any food poisoning outbreak due to poor hygiene standards was always put onto the hoteliers’ shoulders. However, the TUI case (a recent ruling against TUI UK from a case dating back to 2003 in Mallorca) has set a new precedent in tour operator’s responsibility for the safety of guests and the hygiene standards of their partner hotels.
As such, there needs to be a change in methodology in how tour operators gather, and hotels communicate, health and safety reports, to not only ensure the well-being of customers, but also provide both parties with due diligence protection.
At present, tour operators are faced with an extremely difficult job. The recent ruling makes it even more difficult. Self assessment forms are the basis of health and safety reviews of hotels for tour operators, with infrequent auditing acting as a backup. It is just not possible for tour operators to continually manually assess and audit their hotel stock.
Furthermore, it often can take hotels several days, after an incident has happened, to tell a tour operator of a food poisoning outbreak or similar difficulties. All the while, tour operators keep sending holidaymakers to the establishment as they are completely unaware of a problem. Given this ruling, it is extremely difficult for a tour operator to supply a due diligence defence should a case like the TUI example be pursued.
A system must be put in place which allows them to demonstrate that they have done as much as possible to protect the welfare of their customers.
A joint partnership 
This is something that cannot be addressed by one party in isolation. It must be an issue that both tour operators and hoteliers look at in tandem. In the first instance, hotels must look to forge their own relationships with independent health and safety consultants to implement auditing systems that identify any problem areas, with the experts working with the establishment to minimise these risks.
This information should then be shared transparently with tour operators on a regular basis. At a click of a button, tour operators would have access to real-time reports allowing them to take a proactive approach to health and safety, working closely with partners on an ongoing basis to ensure that the standard of a hotel is regularly monitored to spot problem areas early before they get a chance to develop.
With the immediacy of these type of reports, it will be possible for tour operators to swiftly and proactively respond to any areas of concern, instructing hoteliers of any actions or requirements that must be taken to comply with brand standards or as a last resort stopping the travel of guests to that destination. Once an area of concern is found and changes have been instructed, the real-time reports allow hoteliers to update tour operators when specific repairs have been made.
Essentially this is improving the proactivity of tour operators, providing them with a platform where they can maintain an ongoing relationship with hotel partners. Such a strategy would provide the tour operator with a strong due diligence defence in the face of legal claims.
Customer satisfaction 
This increased visibility can only have a positive impact on customer service levels, the main KPI for many operators. At the moment, it is common industry practice for tour operators to send out questionnaires to consumers to assess satisfaction levels after their holiday.
If a problem has occurred while a guest was staying at the hotel, even if it has been fixed, repeat business is already lost as disgruntled customers are unlikely to return to the hotel.
Real-time reports can dramatically impact the amount of business lost in this way, allowing tour operators to spot problem areas before they happen and result in customer complaints. Cases such as the TUI example could be a turning point for both tour operators and hoteliers as suddenly health and safety reporting and the way assessments are performed are under scrutiny.
In order to avoid the floodgates opening to litigation and further negative publicity, both parties need to ensure that reporting is performed on a regular basis, with a proactive approach to identifying and resolving issues.
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