ITMA joins new, FCO travel advice group

The ITMA has become a member of the Travel Advice Review Group (TARG), the body set up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Along with other representatives of the travel and insurance industries, the ITMA will help the FCO make more valued judgements regarding its travel advice.

ITMA executive director Charles Robinson said: "The group helps provide a two-way communication channel through which the Foreign Office can explain its approach and interested parties can explain how travel advisories affect them and how they could be improved."

TARG was set up following a review of FCO travel advice this summer, which concluded that advice should be issued on a more specific basis.

Travel organisations had voiced concerns that advice was too sweeping.

Robinson said advice often only referred to specific areas of a country and that TARG members could report back intelligence from the ground.

Bali and Kenya have been subject of FCO warnings in the past two years, with adverse effects on tourism long after advice had been changed.

Backing the formation of TARG, foreign secretary Jack Straw said advice should balance public safety while minimising disruption.

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