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’