You don’t get accounting advice from your mechanic, nor should you be getting “travel safety” advice from your average travel agent.
A recent survey suggested that consumers where receiving ‘travel safety” advice from travel agents, and applauded the practice.
Did anyone at the business, along with the travel agent stop to think of the liability of providing this new safety advice, without the required skills, experience and service capability?
The survey, conducted in Australia, stated:
“We’re very pleased to report that 81 percent of travellers who purchased their holiday from a travel agent in the last twelve months viewed their consultant as a trusted source of travel and safety advice”.
It then went on to talk about travel insurance uptake rates and other travel insurance related content. NOTHING about travel health, safety, security and risk management.
There is no mention, nor evidence of comprehension of the prevailing health and safety legislation, or the company’s liability for claiming expertise in which they are deficient, or an individual is injured as a result of their poor advice.
Furthermore, there is no evidence of training and standards utilised by the travel agent, in their application of an international standard for risk management that is contextual and consistent in the dispensing of advice.
Travellers have exposed themselves to risk, with unqualified advice if they have not received said advice from a specialist in the area of travel safety. In the event of loss, injury or even death, the provider of such advice may be liable to claims from the affected or their families.
Travel agents that are calling advice “travel safety”, without adequate and specialist training/expertise in the actual field of travel risk management have exposed themselves and their travel agency to legal and liability risks.
The apparent lack of understanding in the survey providers, travel agents and travellers demonstrates the significant gap in traveller understanding of their rights and liabilities, in the event of negative events. Moreover, it shows a very dangerous trend of travel agents assuming professional services roles beyond their expertise.
If a travel agent gave you medical advice, you would laugh or hold them accountable. This breach is no less dangerous or laughable.
Source: Travel Agent Survey: Travel Safety