Published on Friday, June 25, 2004
Tourism Concern has welcomed moves by the Foreign and Commonwelth Office to change its travel advice.
The changes, as reported, include the creation of a Standing Advisory Panel, a Tourism Concern recommendation designed to ensure all parties affected by government travel advice have a say.
The move follows a campaign by the group to include destinations and trade bodies like ABTA involved in the FCO process on travel advice, which goes out to 250,000 people a week via its website.
Tourism Concern director Patricia BArnett said: "The FO has been unexpectedly open about the need for change in their travel advice. The Standing Advisiry Council is a practical way to ensure more transparent consultation continues on a permanent basis.
"We can no longer just stand aside and watch destinations suffer whilst they have no voice on whether British touirsts can visit them or not."
She cited the FCO's stance on Indonesia as being a case in point where it has advised against all non-essential travel for more than a year and a half in the wake of the Bali bombings.
Tourism Concern claims tourist numbers to Bali plummeted as a result, with sales revenues down in regions of Indonesia by 71%, with 31% of schools reporting students dropping out last year becasue their parents could no longer afford to pay basic fees.
Report by Phil Davies
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.