AFTA View

Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Jayson West­bury, chief ex­ec­u­tive AFTA

As I type this month’s col­umn for trav­elbul­letin I find it al­most im­pos­si­ble to com­pre­hend why any per­son who re­sides on this planet would take the lives of in­no­cent peo­ple in the way ter­ror­ists have in Brus­sels. What a cow­ardly act and a dis­grace­ful in­dict­ment on the hu­man race that some peo­ple be­lieve they gain some­thing from this type of hu­man atroc­ity. For the travel in­dus­try across the globe this in­ci­dent once again brings home so quickly how sit­u­a­tions like this can have an im­me­di­ate im­pact on trav­ellers and their fu­ture in­ten­tions. In­deed, here in Aus­tralia I am sure we will see an ef­fect. As we all had just stated to re­cover from the events in Paris, now a more di­rect hit on trav­ellers in Brus­sels. Se­cu­rity will I am sure tighten around the globe for a good long pe­riod of time. While it will cause some in­con­ve­nience, I am sure that in the end we would all like to feel safer. I will be trav­el­ling to Europe my­self in April for the WTAAA board meet­ing and fur­ther meet­ings with IATA on a range of sub­jects in­clud­ing the new gen­er­a­tion of BSP and progress on the new distri­bu­tion ca­pa­bil­ity. Of course it plays on my mind that I will be so close to what has gone on, but if we all stop trav­el­ling then the ter­ror­ists win. As clients ask the ques­tion of travel agents “should I travel to Europe” it is al­ways dif­fi­cult to de­cide how best to re­spond. A re­minder to keep a keen eye on the www.smar­trav­eller.gov.au web­site for up­dates about Bel­gium and more broadly Europe as the situation un­folds and more in­for­ma­tion and in­tel­li­gence be­comes avail­able. My ad­vice is that we all need to con­tinue to travel as we would have. Dis­rup­tion of so­ci­ety and the break­ing of the free­doms that we en­joy in this mod­ern world is what the ter­ror­ists want. There is noth­ing the ter­ror­ist would like more than for the world to stop do­ing what they do best – live a nor­mal life. These sit­u­a­tions are not new to us and while each tragic event comes with the loss of so many lives which im­pact on fam­i­lies and coun­tries, the travel in­dus­try and the trav­el­ling pub­lic will al­ways be the ones that find a way to sup­port and go on with life to the ex­tent that they can in a nor­mal way. I am sure ev­ery­one in the Aus­tralian travel in­dus­try is think­ing of the peo­ple of Bel­gium at this grave time of loss. To fin­ish this month and on a brighter note, I wish all the nom­i­nees in the NTIA this year all the very best of luck as we move into the fi­nal­ist stage and of course for those that will ap­pear be­fore the judges the very best of luck with their pre­sen­ta­tions. I re­mind all the fi­nal­ists when an­nounced to keep an eye out for the in­for­ma­tion ses­sions that AFTA will be run­ning via we­bi­nars to help give them ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to be suc­cess­ful for NTIA 2016.

This in­ci­dent once again brings home so quickly how sit­u­a­tions like this can have an im­me­di­ate im­pact on trav­ellers’

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