Liability and how to limit your exposure – is an indemnity sufficient?
18 Apr 2017 - by Louis Nel
The recent enquiry into the infamous shooting of innocent holiday makers on the beach in Tunisia has raised the scary spectre of extending the duty of care beyond the realm of reasonableness – the question is: if this were to become a reality what can travel managers, tour operators and venues do to limit their exposure?
Here’s a rough but very succinct guideline of five things you can do. It is not exhaustive but it shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
The first thing that comes to mind is an indemnity. Here is a ‘common sense guideline’ of what you should do with an emphasis on the Consumer Protection Act (Act 68/2008) which applies to all goods and services, wherever marketed, if provided in South Africa:
Ensure you have a comprehensive set of terms and conditions. Make sure that your T&Cs are relevant to your product and services and not simply a ‘cut and paste’ off the Internet.
Why you should have T&C:
The briefing of travellers goes a long way in dealing with your duty of care. It should be done upon booking, departure and arrival and should be contained in the travellers’ pack.
Keep your ear to the ground and your eye on the Internet. For example, travel news media and any travel directives issued by various tourist authorities, embassies and consulates.
All travellers should be obliged to pay for comprehensive insurance cover, including such irregular but extremely expensive events such as repatriation of mortal remains.
Adv. Louis Nel has a B. Comm, Ll.B and Ll.M, a Wits EDP and Executive Negotiator Courses as well as diplomas in Marketing and Industrial Relations. He studied at the universities of Stellenbosch, UCT, Wits, Tulane in New Orleans and London. Nel has been in tourism for 33 years and works closely with all the consortia and associations. He focuses on preventative/pro-active risk management, facilitating and mediating disputes.