Who we are and what we do
The Safer Tourism Foundation aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses occurring to people travelling abroad. It was established in 2016, ten years after the deaths of two children, Bobby and Christi Shepherd, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning whilst on holiday in Corfu in 2006. Bobby and Christi’s mother, Sharon Wood, has worked with Thomas Cook to develop the Safer Tourism Foundation as a positive legacy from this tragedy. Thomas Cook has provided the initial funding for the charity.
The Safer Tourism Foundation is not, however, a Thomas Cook charity. It is an independent foundation led by its Board of Trustees. We do not represent a specific constituency or interest group; our aim is to help ensure everyone who travels on holiday abroad stays safe and well.
We want to reduce the health and safety risks affecting people travelling abroad. Whilst carbon monoxide poisoning is one of those risks, our remit is much wider and encompasses all of the health and safety risks that tourists face, including those related to transport, water based activities, slips, trips and falls and personal safety.
We are practical in our approach, driven by evidence, and determined to find solutions that work. We want to collaborate with others who share our aim.
Our current priorities include:
- Building an evidence base, with travellers and over time, in order to understand the root causes of preventable injuries, illnesses and deaths, including carbon monoxide poisoning, and sharing this information widely
- Influencing the work of travel companies and others in order to effect practical changes which improve the health and safety of tourists
- Influencing travellers’ perception of risk and enhancing their ability to make decisions that will help keep them safe and healthy
- Acting as an information gateway for organisations and individuals with an interest in tourism safety, and giving practical advice to the travelling public
We have developed the Safer Tourism Foundation pledge with input from several travel companies. The pledge is a set of statements of intent which articulate support for the charity’s aims and a commitment to work with us to improve the health and safety of tourists. It gives additional confidence to travellers about their travel company’s approach to customer health and safety. We are delighted that a number of travel companies have committed their support through the pledge.