Giving Advice in Times of Crisis - What Sharm Can Teach Us All

11/11/2015 11:23 GMT | Updated 10/11/2016 10:12 GMT

As the situation in Sharm el-Sheikh continues in its uncertainty, British tourists are left confused and bewildered as to what security measures are being put in place to ensure that tourists receive the same security at their UK departure airport as they do on the return leg of their journey. 

If the final verdict on the fate of the Russian jet that crashed in the Sinai region is terrorism, then serious questions will be raised about why lax airport security was allowed to continue at the popular tourist destination of Sharm el-Sheik, in spite of several incidents of terrorism in the region over the past ten years.

As the story unfolds it brings in to question how safe airports around the world are and causes great concern for nervous flyers who find the stringent screening process in EU airports reassuring, but are realizing the checks are not being reciprocated outside of the EU. 

Stories of baggage handlers playing Candy Crush on their phones rather than looking at the bags, casual airport staff (including baggage handlers) not being screened, and security officials allegedly taking cash from tourists to help them skip security are sure to anger tourists who feel let down on the most basic of airport security measures.

Egypt needs to start to rebuild trust immediately in order to win back visitors.  History has shown the resilience of the British tourist, but the coming days and weeks are critical to the lasting perception of the destination. 

To err is human but to repeat the same mistakes again and again is unforgivable.  We need to know now what is being done to remedy any flaws in the security process and we need those reassurances from the Egyptian authorities that everything is being done to bring standards in to line with what we expect of EU airports.

As a spokesperson for the travel industry often called upon to comment on travel trends and issues, I am put in a position where I am asked to provide consumer advice on travel matters.  All too often recently the stories are about attacks on innocent tourists - last night I appeared on BBC News to provide updates on Sharm el-Sheik.  It's a challenge and honour to carry this responsibility, but I would like so much to appear in this arena with a happier tale to tell.

Whatever the final outcome of the investigation into the fate of the plane, I urge the Egyptian government and tourism bodies to act swiftly - trust can be rebuilt.  But action and communication is key now and UK tourists expect and demand that their safety is a top priority. No holiday should be marred by fear and doubt - the two emotions that people will feel if a concerted effort to fix the apparent security lapses in Sharm go unattended any longer. 

It is in the interest of us all that Sharm stays on the menu as an affordable winter sun destination.  We must not allow our world and our choices to become increasingly limited and restricted and the key to fighting this particular and unprecedented scenario is communication.