Look­ing bac k

Travel Bulletin - - ISUES & TRENDS - Jayson West­bury, chief ex­ec­u­tive AFTA

The year be­hind us has been a year of com­men­tary and change. While it did bring sev­eral dread­ful ter­ror­ism events like Paris, Brus­sels and Turkey, the im­pact upon travel and travel in­tent was more in­flu­enced by com­men­tary around po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions. The ter­ri­ble events in Europe had some im­pact for the im­me­di­ate pe­riod after­wards, as has hap­pened in the past, but don’t ap­pear to have had last­ing im­pacts on Aus­tralians’ de­ci­sions to travel to Europe. This shows to some de­gree that the world is be­com­ing re­silient to th­ese types of tragic events and that peo­ple seem to move on quickly. It was also an Olympic year with the XXXI Olympiad held in Rio, Brazil. From all re­ports the Games were de­liv­ered very suc­cess­fully and with­out any sig­nif­i­cant events that im­pacted on them. The Olympics did not at­tract as many Aus­tralians as past games and for the Aus­tralian Olympic Team it wasn’t per­haps our best on record, but the 2016 Rio Olympics were a suc­cess nonethe­less. We also had a Fed­eral elec­tion in 2016 which re­sulted in a nail-bit­ing fin­ish for Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull. Then there was Brexit and the rise of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. Th­ese po­lit­i­cal events have had more im­pact on the travel in­dus­try, or at least ac­cord­ing to the con­sumer me­dia they have. All of th­ese events and changes have meant that con­sumer con­fi­dence has been lag­ging and, with this lag, the de­ci­sion by many to travel has been post­poned or de­ferred dur­ing the year. This meant the in­dus­try has had a patchy year with highs and lows along the way, cer­tainly not our best year on record. But with all that said, 2016 has still de­liv­ered some out­stand­ing re­sults. As a met­ric of a good travel year, Qan­tas posted a record profit which shows that if the na­tional car­rier is hav­ing a good year the in­dus­try should also have a good year. It re­ally does de­pend on where within the in­dus­try a busi­ness is as to what sort of 2016 they might have had. Hav­ing been in at­ten­dance at al­most all of the group con­fer­ences this year, the mes­sage from mem­bers is also mixed. Some have had a great year and oth­ers an aver­age year. The one thing that is cer­tain is that travel agents re­main rel­e­vant and con­tinue to be rel­e­vant to con­sumers and sup­pli­ers alike. For AFTA and ATAS, we have had a ter­rific year with con­tin­ued strong sup­port for ATAS ac­cred­i­ta­tion. Plus, we had our big­gest NTIA ever with more cat­e­gories and strong sup­port from spon­sors which de­liv­ered an out­stand­ing event for the in­dus­try. Look­ing for­ward to 2017, I be­lieve that the set­tings are in place for it to be a very good year for travel and I hope that, wher­ever you are in the travel value chain, next year is an im­prove­ment on the past.

the in­dus­try has had a patchy year with highs and lows along the way, cer­tainly not our best record’ year on

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.