Changes made to UK's 'Travel Advice'
New terms to describe level of threat
By ETN on 31 July 2007 in News
The foreign Ministry's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has heeded feedback from British travellers and tour operators and has changed the language of its descriptors when advising on travel.
Citing first that the UK government’s Travel Advice is one of the most important public services, FCO Minister Meg Munn said, “Following feedback from British travelers and tour operators about Travel Advice, we have identified areas where we could improve the language we use to explain the nature of the terrorist threat.”
The change involves the introduction of four generic threat descriptors, intended to clarify the scale of the terrorist threat to the traveling public. The descriptors, as agreed with the travel industry and other stakeholders, according to the FCO, are:
“Drawing from our experience of what our customers need from Travel Advice, we consider that these descriptions are the most helpful to the traveling public given the innate difficulty of describing the threat from terrorism,” Minister Munn said.
However, the minister added that the principles of FCO Travel Advice, as agreed in the 2004 Review (Command Paper 6158), in relation to the threat from terrorism, remain unchanged. “It will continue to draw on intelligence assessments, open source and media reporting, the local knowledge of our overseas Posts and their diplomatic reporting.”
“Our Travel Advice will continue to reflect the best judgments we can make at the time, though, as we have seen in the UK, it is possible for attacks to take place without prior warning,” Minister Munn said. “I believe that these changes will improve our Travel Advice to give effective information to help British travelers make informed decisions about their travel plans and personal security overseas.”
According to the FCO minister, the FCO Travel Advice website received, on average, 150,000 visitors a week and our call center handled 62,700 telephone inquiries over the entire course of the year last year.
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