Travel social network Talkholiday has introduced a ‘safety check’ feature for travellers to use if they are caught up in a natural disaster.
Hours after reports emerged about the earthquake in Nepal last month, Google and Facebook announced the introduction of new tools to help families worried about their loved ones.
Through Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ feature, if it looks like the account holder may be near a natural disaster, the user is invited to click the “I’m Safe” button, to let friends and loved ones know straight away.
Google re-introduced its Person Finder tool, which aims to reconnect people after natural disasters. It allows users to ask for information about someone or provide information about them.
Talkholiday has gone a step further, with members provided with a free crisis support feature should they be in range of a natural disaster, but also if they lose their passport, mobile phone or bags on holiday.
Additionally, loss of confidential documents, sudden illness or hospitalisation, street crime, or the bureaucratic hassle that can follow losing a passport, are all covered by the SOS button.
The package gets in touch with traveller’s relatives if there is a problem and allows users to upload details including their IMEI number – a 15-digit code on every phone, which is needed for claims on many insurance policies.
The site can also securely store encrypted details of insurance policies, passport numbers, hotel contact numbers and phone numbers for cancelling credit cards – all of which can be shared with a nominated family member or HR department.
“It’s about us being known as a consumer champion,” said Chris Newlands, chief executive of Talkholiday.
“The aim is to provide value and values, and to allow people to travel with an easy mind, and to create a facility where their immediate relatives or employers can provide timely, practical help if it is needed.
“It could be used by any of our members, from businessmen to parents who are sending their child round the world on a gap year.”
Users can also plan, prepare and purchase for their leisure or business trip on the site. Last month Talkholiday, which has close to one million members, announced the appointment of Amanda Wills CBE, former managing director of Virgin Holidays, in a non-executive role.