Like many in the travel industry, I was shocked to wake up on Sunday morning to the breaking news of the tragic bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.

The news was particularly chilling as my family had stayed at one of the hotels targeted just six months ago during the England cricket team’s tour of the country.

The tributes and messages of support to emerge in the days since demonstrated the special place that Sri Lanka holds for those like my family who have visited or who send tourists to this beautiful destination.

And as is so often the case in such circumstances, our thoughts are not only with those who have lost loved ones, but also with the many Sri Lankans who rely on tourism for their livelihoods and who could suffer further should these terrible atrocities have a long-term impact on bookings.

Among the social media posts in the wake of attacks were a number from travel companies working tirelessly to help their clients, demonstrating again the value travel professionals can bring before, during and after a booking.

The expertise and service provided by such professionals will be one of the subjects of a future-of-travel-selling-squarespecial Travel Weekly event on the future of travel selling which will take place next month as part of a year‑long calendar of activity to mark our 50th anniversary.

As global events make the travel landscape ever more complex, it will be fascinating to hear from a range of experts on what the future holds for our core readers and the entire travel trade.

Comment from Travel Weekly, April 25 edition

Experts to debate future of travel selling at Travel Weekly event