How Your Business Can Adapt To The Tunisia Inquest Fallout
In June 2015, 38 people were killed by a lone gunman on a hotel beach in Sousse, Tunisia, including 30 Britons. An inquest was launched, examining whether the UK government and travel firms failed to protect the British tourists that were killed and injured in the attack.
Following six weeks of hearings, the coroner presiding over the inquest has delivered his conclusions.
Coroner Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith has rejected the claim by the families of the victims that neglect was a contributing factor in their deaths, stating that the victims were not in a “dependent position”, and as such he could not conclude that their deaths were a result of neglect.
Judge Loraine-Smith did, however, condemn the Tunisian police response, describing it as “at best shambolic, at worst cowardly”.
22 families will now pursue further legal action, taking their case against TUI to the civil courts.
It would appear that, in this instance, TUI has been cleared by the inquest of any specific legal responsibility for the massacre. One thing is for certain however— serious questions have been raised around TUI’s Travel Safety policies and procedures, and its approach to Duty of Care.
The coroner is also expected to write a “Prevent Future Deaths” report once the inquest has fully concluded.
Although they have avoided immediate legal implication, the reputational damage for TUI has already been done, and the financial burden of a civil court case will not be insignificant.
The hearings from the inquest have highlighted several significant shortcomings in TUI’s handling of bookings to Tunisia.
TUI did not carry out a security audit of the Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel, and have been accused of failing to properly vet the security there in the same way they did at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
Perhaps more importantly, several survivors have told the inquest that they had not been given any information about terrorism in the area, and that if they had been provided with such information by their travel operators or by the FCO, they would not have traveled.
Furthermore, it has been heard that customers were not told where to find FCO safety guidelines and Travel Safety advice for the country.
The fallout from this inquest highlights the need for a mobile ready Travel Safety solution; a need that we at eTravelSafety have identified, and are passionate about meeting.
eTravelSafety are releasing a groundbreaking mobile app that will provide anyone, anywhere, with access to Travel Safety eLearning videos, consolidating over 20 years of security and safety experience into 3 minute videos, in language that anyone can understand.
Additionally, for corporate travelers, we are launching a comprehensive cloud-based eLearning solution that not only provides video-based Travel Safety eLearning, but is also backed by a full Learning Management System, which allows the organization to ensure their travellers have completed the training, and therefore ensures a level of compliance has been met.
For more information about our products, and to be the first to get your hands on our apps when they launch, visit www.etravelsafety.com and sign up to be alerted when the apps launch. Watch the video below as well for more information.