Comment: United in triumph and tragedy

Comment: United in triumph and tragedy

Life is full of incredible highs and lows, and never was that more true than during this past week.

On Thursday, Travel Weekly hosted more than 1,200 travel professionals at our annual Globe Travel Awards, rewarding the very best companies and individuals in the business.

These included the Outstanding Contribution Award, presented to industry photographer Steve Dunlop for 30 years’ service of the highest quality.

Seeing Steve’s disbelief when he realised he’d won, and then watching as the Globes audience rose to its feet to honour him, was a moment I will cherish forever.

Unquestionably, a professional and personal highlight.

Just 36 hours later, the disbelief was of an altogether different nature as news started filtering through of a truly appalling incident at a travel agency in Merseyside.

Words cannot express the horror that befell Tui, its staff and its customers in Southport on Saturday. And this was a tragedy felt across our entire industry as it happened to one of our own.

Like many others, we send our deepest condolences to Cassie Hayes’ family, friends and colleagues, and we hope they have found some small solace in the outpouring of love and support from the travel industry.

I know that some of the Tui staff I spoke to found it “overwhelming and a source of great comfort” in such a desperate situation.

While the Globes felt a long way away at the weekend, the sense of solidarity, community and love we felt from our special industry on Thursday is precisely what has been on show in such different circumstances this week. RIP, Cassie.

Comment from Travel Weekly, 18 January edition

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