Travel safety, risk and crisis management experts Sanderson Phillips and tranquilico host inaugural seminar in London

Travel safety consultants Sanderson Phillips and crisis management specialists tranquilico held their inaugural Risk, Safety and Crisis Management for a Sustainable Travel Industry seminar in London this week.

Hosted at Glaziers Hall (London Bridge) in partnership with ABTOT and Travel and General Insurance Services Limited (t&g), the event was attended by more than 50 delegates, speakers and partners from across the travel industry. Attendees included long-standing clients of Sanderson Phillips and tranquilico – Audley Travel, Trailfinders, Scott Dunn, Travel Counsellors, Mike Burton, Neilson, Explore and Diversity Travel – as well as ABTOT and Latin America Travel Association (LATA) members and t&g clients.

The seminar delivered a full day packed with expert keynote presentations, interactive workshops, insightful thought leadership and a panel discussion from knowledgeable and well-known names in travel, including Safer Tourism Foundation, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Themis Advisory and Spark Travel.

Key takeaways from the day for travel professionals included:

  • How can tour operators and travel agents be aware of and manage The Holiday Head? The Safer Tourism Foundation defines this as “The Propensity to behave on holiday in ways that you wouldn’t at home.” Speaker Kathy Atkinson posed to the audience – “Would you ever consider riding a motorcycle without a helmet and in shorts and a t-shirt at home? Why would you consider it safe to do so on holiday?”
  • There is a proportionate and affordable response for travel businesses of all sizes when it comes to auditing for risk and safety – Joanna Kolatsis from Themis Advisory talked through some key examples of where having cost-effective but robust auditing in place can help a travel company manage its risk exposure and protect its customers and reputation.
  • Preparedness for a crisis is essential for all travel businesses – tranquilico’s Colin McGregor highlighted the importance of every travel organisation having a crisis plan. His tips included:
    • Tailored documented plans suitable for your specific business size and operational reach are essential
    • Appointing key team members to defined roles and ensuring they’re adequately trained
    • Setting up an incident room (physical or virtual) efficiently
    • Having all necessary equipment/phones/admin/forms prepared in advance
    • Investing in smaller desktop or full crisis simulations to stress test your response
    • Seeking specialist support (such as PR, Legal, Insurance, Trauma) to enable your teams to focus on the areas that they need to

Moderated by LATA CEO Danny Callaghan, delegates were treated to presentations from Kathy Atkinson (Chief Executive, Safer Tourism Foundation), ex-Explore MD John Telfer (Consultant, Sanderson Phillips/ tranquilico), legal expert Joanna Kolatsis (Director, Themis Advisory), the FCDO, and Simon Wilkinson (MD, Spark Travel), along with a panel discussion featuring Julie Jones (Development Director, ABTOT and t&g) and Tejash Bhagani (Underwriting Director, t&g), and an interactive crisis simulation to round off the day, delivered by Colin McGregor (Crisis Management Consultant, tranquilico).

The seminar was supported by Sustainability Partner and travel technology specialists Spark Travel, with the venue and catering selected based on its sustainable credentials, and the event’s impact calculated and compensated for through tree planting/carbon reduction projects via Trees4Travel.

David Atkin, Managing Director Sanderson Phillips and tranquilico said, “We’re thrilled to have delivered such a successful and well-received inaugural seminar from Sanderson Phillips and tranquilico. As specialists in safety, risk and crisis management we pride ourselves on delivering tailored services for our clients and associates and were pleased to be able to take this a step further with an event featuring a range of expert speakers and guests, all able to share their unique knowledge, insight and advice in travel risk with our delegates.”

Atkin continued, “We’d like to say a huge thank you to our partners: ABTOT, Travel and General Insurance Services Limited and Spark Travel along with all of our speakers for contributing to a memorable event.”