We are currently facing a spate of natural disasters on a global scale so devastating in form and so consistently happening that it seems hard to deny that those who predicted global warming issues were pretty accurate. Runaway fires in Greece and other parts of Europe, all over Canada and parts of the USA; an earthquake in Morocco, one of the premier tourist destinations, following hot on the heels of the devastating earthquake in Turkey that claimed tens of thousands of lives – and flooding in Hong Kong, where apparently more rainfall was recorded in a day than they usually have in a whole season. The list goes on and some of the smaller natural disasters happening all over the world are hardly getting news time because of the frequency of such events.
The point of this article is not to talk about what the cause of these disasters may be, even though global warming appears to be a culprit in many instances, but to remind readers about something that I touched on a while ago in an article which asked the question, “Is global warming a threat or a boost to international travel?”. Well, as much as some countries have benefitted from better climates there is no doubt for me now, that global warming or not, these natural disasters are a very real threat to international travel.
The problem for travellers is twofold too. One issue is deciding in advance which destinations are safe to travel to, and then having made that call still knowing what the weather is likely to be like because weather conditions have become so difficult to predict. The other issue is a much more serious one and that is of travellers being caught in one of these no-go areas and being stranded without recourse or assistance. A typical example is the case of the Hong Kong floods where a huge number of the Cathay Pacific fleet were either grounded or last-minute changes to flights made.
Who will have your back?
This is where I get to the real point of the article. The question is, when you are in this kind of situation, would you rather be dealing with a chatbot from the airlines or disaster management in the area, or a real person who has your best interest at heart and has some immediate solutions for you? Let’s face it, first prize is that you will have not gotten yourself into the situation in the first place and this is exactly where dealing with good, experienced Travel Professionals who are part of accredited TMCs comes in. So, what exactly can they do for you?
Firstly Travel Professionals associated with global travel companies can fairly accurately forecast problematic weather conditions in various parts of the world as they have to have their ears to the ground all the time. They are also in contact constantly with climate forecasters and can at the very least advise whether it is a good time to travel to the area and if so what to pack and what to possibly expect. Advice, in fact, of all kinds can save you a lot of heartache. This includes not only general travel advice regarding all aspects of the destination but advice on travel insurance, ensuring that you are not underinsured if you do run into a real problem.
Prevention, preparation and professional solutions
Obviously, Travel Professionals don’t have a crystal ball, but in the case of unpredictable natural disasters we at BIDTravel group at least have excellent systems that enable us to extract reports telling us exactly where our travellers are and when. This means we can, and do send advanced warnings if we sense or hear of any major impending issues. This goes some way at least to preventing some danger and re-routing travellers to safer areas. Safe travel is very much about prevention, good preparation and ultimately dealing with a Travel Professional from day one who has your back and can offer solutions if you do run into trouble. A travel Professional is not only your best friend when disaster strikes but can very possibly prevent you from being there when it does!
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