Who we are and what we do
The Safer Tourism Foundation is an independent charity working to save lives and prevent serious harm and injuries to UK travellers, at home and abroad.
We do not represent a specific constituency or interest group; our aim is to help ensure everyone who travels on holiday, at home in the UK or abroad, stays safe and well. We are an independent foundation, led by a Board of Trustees.
The Foundation 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, worked with the travel industry to develop the Safer Tourism Foundation, as a positive legacy from this tragedy. Thomas Cook provided the initial funding for the charity.
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 welcome collaboration with others who share our aim.
Our current priorities include:
- Building an evidence base over time, with travellers and the travel industry, to understand the root causes of preventable harm, injuries, illnesses and deaths and using this information to drive awareness and encourage actions to minimise risks when travelling
- Influencing the work of travel companies, tourism destinations and others in order to effect practical changes which improve the health and safety of travellers, without negatively impacting local communities or residents
- Influencing travellers’ perception of risk and personal responsibility, while enhancing their ability to make decisions that will help keep them safe and healthy when travelling
- Acting as an information gateway for organisations and individuals with an interest in tourism and travel 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.