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Quality Standards of Service in Modern Conditions – The ABTA Quality Promise Simon Pickup Sustainable Tourism Manager, ABTA.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality Standards of Service in Modern Conditions – The ABTA Quality Promise Simon Pickup Sustainable Tourism Manager, ABTA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality Standards of Service in Modern Conditions – The ABTA Quality Promise Simon Pickup Sustainable Tourism Manager, ABTA

2 Agenda About ABTA Quality and corporate conduct Quality and financial protection Quality in 2012, a wider meaning? Sustainability as a factor of quality

3 About ABTA 62 years old Merged with Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) in 2008 Largest travel related trade association in the UK Membership: c. 750 tour operators c. 4500 travel agents

4 Strategic Vision: ABTA’s vision is to achieve confidence at the heart of travel; confidence for companies to trade and invest, confidence for customers to book and confidence that the industry is building a sustainable future.

5 ABTA and the UK Consumer UK “Superbrand” polling – ABTA included since 2003. Brand values: on expertise, reliability and fairness 2011: ABTA is recognised by 1 in 3 UK consumers Great brand salience with mid – older consumers Key reasons for recognition: quality & financial protection – the ABTA logo helps to legitimise UK business activities


7 ABTA Code of Conduct All ABTA members expected to operate business in accordance with the ABTA Code Aim of the Code of Conduct = to ensure the public receive the best possible service from Members Best Practice Guide covering: 1. Before a booking is made 2. Making the booking 3. Between booking and travel 4. After departure 5. Communications between Members and consumers and ABTA 6. General conduct

8 ABTA Code of Conduct Example Code 1D No Advertising or Promotion or any other publication, whether in writing or otherwise, shall contain anything that is likely to mislead the public. Advertising – Full accurate information – Be able to back it up – Honest, decent and truthful – Availability: consumers must have reasonable prospect of obtaining the advertised fare. If availability is limited, make that very clear

9 Code of Conduct Enforcement Code of Conduct Committee Comprised of ABTA members: Committee in Action: December 2011 Clause 2a: Make every effort to ensure that the Travel Arrangements sold to their Clients are compatible with their Clients’ individual requirements Travelmood Ltd received a fine of £2,000 in respect of clause 2A of the Code. The Committee found that the Member had sold a client travel arrangements that were not what he had requested. Decisions: available in the public domain via


11 ABTA and financial protection

12 2012: Quality – a wider definition Recession has placed strong emphasis on value amongst UK consumers Ensuring quality = adding value to the customer experience Outside of service levels and financial protection, quality – now includes: Value Safety Sustainability

13 Safety Ranked at top concern amongst UK consumers – 2011 (ABTA Consumer Research) Package Travel Regulations 1992: Expensive and potentially criminal consequences for negligence Multitude of elements: accommodation, fire safety, balconies, swimming pools, food hygiene, legionnaire’s disease

14 Safety continued… FTO Prefferred Code of Practice – 18,000 copies – Revised every two years Tour Operator Auditing Programme – All aspects of safety in accommodation setting – Results impact on commercial relationships Consumer impact: – Confidence, assurance

15 Sustainability Increasing expectation from consumers but responsibility rests with industry Tourism that creates better places to live, better places to visit Increasing industry engagement = a strong business case has developed Why Engage? Stakeholder Relationships Efficiency gains Legitimacy / Growing Legislative burden Consumer Expectation Product Preservation

16 Sustainability at the consumer level

17 BACKGROUND A European initiative – launched in 2007 after 3 year project Joint initiative – tour operators, trade associations, NGOs, tourism ministries, academics Multi-stakeholder process involving 60+ participants Co-financed by EC (EU Life/”Tourlink” and EU ECO Innovation/”INTOUR”)




21 WHO SUPPORTS IT? Tour operator subscription and commitment – TUI (in UK mainstream 90% by 2014) – Thomas Cook Group (Global commitment) – KUONI (European commitment) – Transat, Cosmos, Virgin Holidays, Hotelplan, Sunvil, Co-operative Travel… Hotel chain subscriptions and commitment – SENTIDO, HV, Atlantica, Louis, Neilson…

22 Recap Quality in the service sector is complex issue that involves a wider range of stakeholder Industry regulation of activity and protection is vitally important Service standards and financial protection are still vital ingredients of the industry’s quality promise Value, safety and sustainability are no longer optional extras


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