Taking charge

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The slayings of eight tourists last week in Uganda have rocked the travel industry, the traveling public and the world at large. Yet like all momentous events, the far-reaching repercussions of this tragedy will unfold slowly. The manner in which our industry reacts to these deaths will be a test of the integrity, responsiveness and commitment of our community to the people we serve.

All travel involves risk. It can not be ignored, nor can it be eliminated. Potential dangers can, however, be identified, explored, explained and thereby, hopefully, minimized. And in an era when adventure travel and Xtreme outings are fast becoming not only the norm, but the ideal, the responsibilities of agents, operators and travelers themselves must evolve apace.

Is this going to involve more work? Certainly. But it's a whole new ballgame, folks. People don't want to gaze at Niagara Falls anymore, they want to ride over them in a barrel. Maybe we need to get them the best possible barrel. Maybe we need to let them know that it's a long way down. Or maybe, just maybe, we need to tell them not to do it at all.

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