Travel industry must ‘rethink’ crisis management in light of Covid-19
Travel firms have been urged to rethink crisis management procedures and adhere to common standards industrywide.
Speaking at Global Travel Week’s Resilience Council Insights session, Jill Sinclair, chief executive of Global Health Assured, said the pandemic had highlighted inconsistencies in crisis management policies and the travel industry’s approach to it.
Sinclair founded Global Health Assured during the pandemic to help deal with some of the issues raised by Covid in destinations. It has developed Covid-19 health protocols to ‘unlock’ travel to destinations worldwide.
She said Covid’s impact as a global pandemic was the reason why “crisis management has to be rethought”.
She said: “At the moment there is lip service paid to it. Travel companies have to relook at crisis management.
“The Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council is getting together to look at protocols; never before have we had to look at this. What we are trying to do is collaborate; we should have a new standard.”
Larger companies with more resources, protocols and management had shown themselves to be able to ‘fufil and deliver’ high standards of crisis management during Covid, she said. She held Silversea Cruises out as an example for its “superb protocols”.
“Where you got resources and experience, the crisis tends to be managed much better. There is containment and protocols,” she said.
Part of the problem has been the lack of common standards, she said.
She said: “There are huge amounts of inconsistencies across government and hospitality because in many ways we don’t have a unified body. I don’t think there is enough harmony across standards.
“It comes back to governments and world health organisations working together. It’s caused so many issues around how businesses can plan.”
Communicating the protocols in the right way so that customers understood them was also critical, she said.