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AFTA CEO Update Tuesday 19 March 2019


                    Travel Daily Exclusive - Tuesday 19 March 2019

The shooting in Christchurch last Fri (15 Mar 2019), has sent shockwaves around the globe, particularly across the Tasman.

With the death toll now reaching 50, the loss of life from this tragedy becomes more and more difficult to fathom.

I’m sure everyone in the travel industry both in Australia and New Zealand hold heavy hearts at this time for the victims, families and loved ones impacted by this horrendous act.

At a time when the world is striving to become a more peaceful place, a place of greater understanding and respect for one another, this individual has placed a dark cloud over the direction we thought the world was going.

Why now? Why Christchurch? Just why? Are questions that I am sure the authorities that have this individual in custody will be asking.

The City of Christchurch has had its fa of tragedy and pain over many years. It is a city that has demonstrated its resilience
to rebuild following major earthquakes in 2011, and bring forward a spirit of community that perhaps many other cities
around the world would struggle to do, and so we all hope that Christchurch will once again bring forward this spirit of community in the wake of this dreadful incident.

As we struggle to comprehend how such a tragic event can occur, the eyes of the world have turned to New Zealand‘s prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who has been an outstanding leader in a time when a nation needs a true leader, a time of pain and hurt.

I suspect gun laws will never be the same again in that country. From what we know – and perhaps a little late - change to gun laws will come.

Guns have a place in our society, but the types of weapons used, and the relative ease of access to them seems odd, particularly to Australians, as we have had very tough guns laws now for decades. But there is no place for politics at a time like this and we can only hope that the NZ Parliament will band together to do the right thing for the country and the
future of gun use in that country.

In these early days post an event of this nature, as is always the case, the travel industry on both sides of the ditch will be put to the test, but I hope that we can all do our best to alleviate the pain and suffering so many will be feeling over the coming weeks. A dreadful event for our friends in NZ and an extended deep sympathy to all who have been impacted by the events of Fri.

While there can be no positive taken from this act of terror, the fact it appears to be a lone act of lunacy that we sincerely hope will never be repeated, can give us some small comfort moving into the future.