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AFTA Update
                   AFTA CEO Update - Tuesday 18 February 2020

A HEARTFELT congratulations to all of the winning travel agents from the CLIA awards over the weekend, which saw the cruise industry on full display at a time when it is definitely feeling the pinch of COVID-19.

Winners are grinners and there is no doubt that the travel industry does love a celebration, and I am sure all those who attended the event enjoyed the evening greatly. Cruise remains such an important part of the travel industry tapestry and for travel agents in particular, it continues to be a very important part of the staple of products on offer.

For now, it would seem that cruise is in the media for reasons other than the awards on Sat, and we can all hope that the various challenges being faced across the cruise sector will get resolved as quickly as possible. The Federal Government and, more broadly, governments across the globe, are acutely aware of the challenges being faced by the industry in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and I have no doubt that once the situation improves, people will return to cruise as quickly as they left - if, in fact, they left in the first place.

It’s important to remember that there are hundreds of cruise ships carrying thousands of passengers who are completed unaffected by COVID-19, although this seems to have missed the breaking news cycle; I am sure that, collectively, the industry will continue to try and get the truth out.

On another note, AFTA will be running a national roadshow series for members - if you have not yet managed to secure your spot, CLICK HERE. There are so many issues floating around in 2020, the year we had all hoped would be one of our best, and it is time to talk about the challenges ahead and how industry can respond and comprehend the implications.

AFTA will be addressing many of these issues during the national roadshow, and, despite the very high level of negativity that surrounds the travel and tourism industry currently, I remain confident that we will pull through this. There are still plenty of months ahead in which 2020 can prevail as a good year