Time to Enforce EU Tourism Health & Safety Standards

04 June by


Following the Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT) Conference this week (1-3 June) in Ras Al Khaimah, Salman Syed UK MD of Thomas Cook used his speech to make a 'call for action'  stressing the need “to move to legislative action” for health and safety across the industry.

“I want to use this platform to call for action,” he told delegates. “We are endorsing and supporting the work that Abta is doing to call for minimum health and safety standards across Europe that are underpinned by regulatory measures. I ask you to support, endorse and lead this collective voice with Abta and the ITT to drive the [EU] Commission to action.”

The demand followed his opening speech, where Syed addressed the Corfu tragedy with an open and frank apology for the company’s handling of the situation, both now and nine years ago.

Sharon Wood, the mother of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006, has also called for greater health and safety standards across the travel industry when she spoke to Good Morning Britain (29 May 2015). She also said that an apology from Thomas Cook was "too little too late".

Ms Wood's MP Mary Creagh has tabled a motion in Parliament calling for every hotel in the EU to be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors.

On GMB, Ms Wood called on Thomas Cook to lead the campaign to push through the EU legislation to make safety a key issue for the travel industry.

In the statement, Mr Fankhauser CEO of Thomas Cook said: “In addition to our high standards of health and safety we have announced that we will appoint a respected third party individual to lead an independent review of all areas of the business relating to the health, safety and welfare of our customers.

Surely, it is way overdue for the European Union to introduce a tourism accommodation safety directive to ensure consistent, rigorous and properly enforced health and safety standards throughout the EU that applies to all leisure companies.