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.

The United Kingdom Foreign Ministry’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced it has identified four generic travel threat descriptors and, as a result, changes have been made to its travel advice.

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:

“A high threat from terrorism” means a high level of known terrorist activity;
“A general threat from terrorism” means some level of known terrorist activity;
“An underlying threat from terrorism” means a low level of known terrorist activity;
“A low threat from terrorism’ means no or very limited known terrorist activity.

“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.


Be the first to leave a comment

Add Your Comment

Please note: all comments will be manually verified by our staff before appearing on the site. Please do not try and spam and do not use offending language. If you want to be notified when your post has been published, add your email address below.

Required Fields


News Archives

Facebook  Twitter  Google +  Instagram  Foursquare