Comment: Berlin tragedy casts a pall

Comment: Berlin tragedy casts a pall

The tragic news from Berlin this week casts a shadow over the Christmas period.

Yet after a year marked by unrest and uncertainty, it was notable that the news of the attack at a Christmas market was greeted not just with sadness, but also with a sense of resignation.

Last week, I wrote in this column about the challenges facing the industry as it tries to tread the fine line between profitable business and pricing that keeps customers booking. This week’s events serve as a reminder that – economic considerations aside – the industry remains particularly susceptible to acts of terror that even the best planning is powerless to prevent.

The opening of the inquests early next year into the deaths of 30 Britons killed in Tunisia in 2015 will act as another reminder of how travel and tourism is now deemed a legitimate target by extremists.

However, as Tui’s UK managing director Nick Longman told us in November, the hearings should also be seen as an opportunity for the industry as a whole not just to better understand the circumstances of that horrific attack, but also to learn from it.

Sadly, it is inevitable that the Berlin terror attack will not be the last. But we should remember that these incidents, though appalling, remain rare in the context of the millions of British customers who take a holiday abroad every year.

As the Travel Weekly team prepares for our one week off in 2016 after 52 consecutive issues, we sincerely wish all our readers a restful and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous new year.


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