This column is called “Editorial Musings” and usually I ramble about whatever travel topic pops into my mind and seems timely and appropriate. This week, I want to explore a different angle and pose a broad question and solicit your feedback in the comment section–if you aren’t planning to leave a comment, please stop reading.
Seriously, I expect you to join in the conversation!
Earlier this month, a 14 year old girl was caught in the crossfire and killed in St. Thomas. She was a guest on a Carnival ship that entered port as a Fun Ship and left with a decidedly different tone. For the most part, St. Thomas is what I consider a “safe” port. I might venture to say that any agent who has sold more than three cruises has likely sent a client to St. Thomas.
Earlier this summer, some civil unrest broke out in Kingston, Jamaica. The US was looking for a drug lord who was holed up in some slums in Kingston. There were guns, gangs, and shootings. By the time it all calmed down and the guy was arrested and sent to the US, 74 people had died. Fortunately, it was isolated to those slums and there were no tourists involved. Jamaica has an off and on history of being a “safe” destination.
Certainly, as agents, we can never assure anyone’s safety. The aluminum tube at 30,000 feet hurtling through the sky at 600 mph could drop at any minute. Sure, insurance is a decent proactive/reactive idea. Proactive in that we are looking ahead and planning for as many contingencies as possible. And reactive in that if something happens, the client is financially limited. It really doesn’t do anything for any of the non-financial issues—nor should it.
How do you handle issues like this? How do you vet out clients and their tolerance for risk? Do you feel confident in your capabilities to offer legitimate consultation? Do you feel you are protected from liability?