The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has issued a warning to Brits planning on driving whilst on holidays abroad following a recent report from the Make Roads Safe campaign which claims 25,000 tourists are killed on the roads every year.
Head of destinations and sustainability at ABTA, Nikki White commented, “Many ABTA tour operators work closely with local companies providing transfers and car hire arrangements to operate appropriate safety standards and also with the Foreign Office to raise customer awareness on how to minimise potential risks as part of their ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign.”
This campaign was launched by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2001 and aims to help Brits travelling abroad stay safe and healthy. It covers advice on what to do before you go such as passports, visa and vaccination advice, plus what to do if something untoward does happen while you are away, and advice on how to deal with it.
ABTA were also keen to stress that only a very small number of the 60 million UK tourists who travel abroad are ever involved in fatal accidents abroad, however they urged holidaymakers to make sure they were fully aware of local driving laws in their chosen destination.
Whilst many travellers book package holidays with transfers included, around 55% travel independently and it can’t be guaranteed how safe some of the companies they use actually are, and ABTA have stated that action needs to be taken by local governments to ensure that all companies licensed to transfer holidaymakers reach and exceed certain safety regulations.
They also suggest that customers fully research their destinations before travelling. They advise holidaymakers who are thinking of hiring a car or scooter abroad to do a little research in particular discovering which side of the road they drive on in their chosen destination. If you are planning on booking a transfer in advance, don’t just go for the cheapest option, do a little research and choose a company that has been around for a while and one that has a good reputation.
Whilst the vast majority of people travel abroad without incident, it is always a good idea to prepare for your journey in advance and if that means spending a couple of hours doing some research, then so be it. You never know, it could turn a good holiday into a great holiday.