Comment: Mature answers to big issues

Comment: Mature answers to big issues

There were sober reminders this week of the challenges travel can face.

We don’t yet know the cause of the air crash in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, but a claim that the Russian aircraft was brought down by a terrorist attack demonstrated the continuing security threat to the sector.

A World Travel Market report revealed that fear of a terrorist attack now registers as one of the biggest concerns among holidaymakers, with many choosing not to travel overseas, and others that do saying they feel unable to relax completely.

A separate report into the deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning of two children on holiday with Thomas Cook in Corfu brought back a painful episode. The conclusions made difficult reading for Cook, but its recommendations extend to the industry as a whole.

WTM in London provided an opportunity for destinations that have suffered difficulties of their own recently to spell out what they are doing to recover and to guard against future problems.

It is a feature of our industry that whatever happens anywhere in the world – a weather event, civil disturbance, natural disaster, terror attack, outbreak of disease – has an impact on travel.

In such circumstances, the reassurance that someone with life experience – and the accompanying social skills – can offer customers is invaluable. So it was refreshing to hear travel firms urged to adopt B&Q’s employment strategy in recruiting older staff to help sell holidays.

Maturity is an undervalued asset, especially in times of uncertainty.


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