Dreadful events for Vanuatu with Cyclone Pam raging through the small island nation and bringing an incredible level of destruction and dismay to this peaceful and beautiful place.
As we have all experienced within the travel industry over many years, these natural disasters are difficult to comprehend from the television images that we all see and the reports being fed back to Australia. For Vanuatu, the loss of life and tragedy that has befallen them will bring many years of pain and sorry and I am sure everyone is thinking and feeling for the people who have lost so much.
The recovery will take some time and from all reports this will mean travellers will have to re-think what they might do and for some time. I am sure other options will need to be considered. But as with all these issues in the past, Australia and I am sure the Australian travel industry will be there to support Vanuatu however we can. It is important to keep informed and the best place as a guide for this is the government’s Smartraveller website – CLICK HERE. Our hearts and minds go out to the people of Vanuatu and as more information and suggestions of support appear, AFTA will assist however possible.
On a different subject, this week marked World Consumer Rights Day. Officially recognised on Sunday 15th March every year, the day has a long heritage. In 1962, US President John F Kennedy gave an address to the US Congress in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights for the first time. The international acceptance and flow-on from this important address by the President has provided such legislative instruments as the Australian Consumer Law. This is of course the backbone of the new environment in which consumers and business now transact, not just in travel but across all consumer interactions. It’s an interesting heritage and one that is worthy of recognition and even more significant in the new travel industry environment within Australia.