Winter sports enthusiasts were today warned against making it too much of a break to remember.
The winter holiday season approaches and the Foreign Office is today launching a new campaign targeting travellers taking part in sports abroad.
Foreign Office research shows that 34% of 18-34 year olds taking a spur of the moment skiing holiday fail to ensure they are adequately insured.
The aim of the campaign is to help ensure that travellers are properly prepared and insured for all sporting activities abroad; from jet-skiing to heli-skiing, diving to skydiving and water-skiing to snowboarding. It offers travellers a range of helpful advice including a short checklist.
Baroness Symons, Foreign Office Minister for Consular Affairs said:
'Every year we see an ever growing number of British Nationals travelling abroad specifically to undertake sports or activities like skiing or diving. Others find themselves having a go at bungee-jumping or jet-skiing while on holiday. Activities of this type can of course be exhilarating. However, holidaymakers put themselves at additional risk if they fail to take out adequate travel insurance or check out the credentials of any companies or guides they may be using.'
'The latest Foreign Office 'Know Before You Go' Activities mini-campaign targets those who intend to undertake some form of sport or similar activity during their holiday. Our aim is to ensure that they have a good time doing so, safe in the knowledge that they have minimised any potential risks.'
Rachel Kelsey, the international rock-climber said:
'Keeping in contact when travelling abroad is one of the most important precautions you can take as I found out a few weeks ago when I was stranded on a Swiss mountain in a blizzard. Even though we had done extensive weather checks, my partner and I were trapped on an Alpine ridge for three days in subzero temperatures - it was a truly terrifying experience. Even though I am an experienced mountaineer, have completed the vigorous SAS selection procedure and took the right survival equipment the only thing that saved us was the fact that I had my mobile phone on me and was able to alert people by text. I fully back the Foreign Office 'Know Before You Go' sports campaign. It gives excellent safety advice on ways to minimise the risks when overseas and highlights the importance of staying in touch when abroad.'
Notes for Editors
- The Know Before You Go 'Sports' mini-campaign will run from October 2003 to April 2004.
- The 'sports' mini-campaign forms part of the FCO's ongoing 'Know Before You Go' campaign which, working with travel industry partners, encourages travellers to be better prepared before travelling overseas. The FCO website provides top tips for travel overseas including guidance on taking out travel insurance, country-specific travel advice information and checklists for specific groups such as backpackers and independent travellers, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travellers, women travellers and those visiting friends and relatives overseas.
- The FCO’s ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign was launched in June 2001 and encourages British nationals to be better prepared before travelling overseas. The campaign aims to raise public awareness and to encourage companies involved in the travel industry to join in partnership with the FCO to promote the key messages - take out travel insurance and check out the FCO travel web site before you go. The campaign has nearly 200 industry partners to date.
- For general tips on travelling abroad and country-specific travel advice, travellers should check out the FCO Travel Advice, available online or by calling 0870 606 0290.
- For further press information on the Know Before You Go publicity campaign contact: Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster: 020 7497 3001 - Sarah-Jane Arney / Natasha Berhouz/ Dionne Parker - Firstname.email@example.com