Travel journalist wins a Trading Standards Hero Award for his practical advice during COVID-19
Travel journalist and broadcaster Simon Calder has won recognition at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) annual Hero Awards ceremony for providing clear and practical advice on travel-related difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the EU.
He received the Trading Standards Journalist Hero Award at the event, hosted by CTSI at the House of Lords on the evening of Wednesday 23 November, which recognised significant contributions to consumer protection across the UK.
Simon was nominated by consumer advice body the UK International Consumer Centre (formerly the UK European Consumer Centre) in recognition of his campaigning efforts during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond and for empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to get redress at a difficult time.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused large-scale cancellations and the closure of many travel-related services. Impacts from leaving the EU further complicated the situation and consumers had to try to recover money or try to make alternative arrangements against a back-drop of confusion.
Service Director at the UKICC, Andy Allen, said: “Across 2020, 2021 and 2022 the UKICC has experienced significant numbers of complaints over various travel-related issues.
“Throughout this period Simon provided clear and practical advice using his significant reach to raise knowledge of emerging issues and assist consumers in resolving travel-related difficulties, assisting them to gain redress at a very stressful and financially uncertain time.”
Simon has appeared on mainstream TV shows such as BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, ITV News, Sky News and CNN to help consumers navigate the complicated travel redress landscape. He also writes a weekly column, as well as features, and answers readers’ questions for the Independent and the Evening Standard. Other publications where you can read Simon’s travel advice include: Condé Nast Traveller; Waitrose Weekend; Highlife magazine; and Group Leisure & Travel magazine.
Simon said: “COVID-19 hit travel harder than almost any other industry, and businesses suddenly found themselves having to switch from providing great holidays to handing out refunds. Some travel firms respected the law and their customers to the letter, but sadly many did not.
“I have done what I can to try to win redress for travellers, and share lessons for future pandemics, and it is an honour to be recognised with such a significant award.”
CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: “For many years now Simon has worked empower consumers with the knowledge they need to get redress for travel-related difficulties. This kind of help became even more important for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Simon used his significant reach to raise knowledge of emerging issues and to assist consumers in resolving their travel problems. His handle on consumer affairs is highly thought of and his determination to report on what is important for consumers means that thousands of travellers benefit from his experience and knowledge.
“The CTSI Hero Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate remarkable individuals or groups of people who make outstanding contributions towards safeguarding vulnerable consumers in our communities. Every year, we are inspired by the stories of nominees throughout the country whose bravery, altruism and hard work often goes unnoticed. These awards honour those remarkable people who have gone the extra mile for consumers.
"Simon’s CTSI Hero Award is long overdue for someone who helps educate millions of consumers about their consumer rights.”
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
Please contact CTSI Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries.
Pictured from left to right: Chris Armstrong from the College of Fellows and Simon Calder CTSI Hero Award winner.
Friends Against Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.