The public apology by Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser over the deaths of Christianne and Bobby Shepherd will have come as a great relief to all in the industry.
It is clear the move came painfully late – following the guidance of Cook’s legal advisers – but Fankhauser’s genuine remorse over the handling of the tragedy will have gone some way to restoring public faith, not just in his company, but in the industry as a whole.
The fallout continued as Travel Weekly went to press, but hopefully the apology will prove a step towards allowing everyone to move forward – and enables the industry to demonstrate that the health, happiness and wellbeing of customers remains its primary consideration.
On a far more positive note, it was a great privilege not only to moderate the Clia UK & Ireland Selling Cruise Conference once again last weekend, but also to meet the record number of agents who filed into the theatres on the three host ships.
Clearly, getting to explore Royal Princess, Anthem of the Seas and Britannia was a massive draw. But the business sessions were also packed and delegates ranging from first-timers to Clia Cruise Masters seemed truly enthused by what they heard.
Many of those agents appear in the shortlists for this year’s Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards, published in this week’s issue (page 14).
The fact that the event sold out two months in advance is testament to the quality we have to celebrate.
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