Travel Agents

AFTA boss apologises after suggesting female TV host needed “a firm uppercut”

Ali Coulton

Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) chief executive Jayson Westbury has issued an apology after he said a TV host “needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face”.

Westbury made the comment during an online seminar addressing the group’s stakeholders last Friday, which was posted to YouTube.

The video was about how negative publicity around the travel industry in the wake of COVID-19 was being addressed, but it has since been taken down, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

In the video, Westbury reportedly said he would never watch Channel 9’s A Current Affair again, after its treatment of travel agents over refunds and cancellation fees.

“I think that Tracy Grimshaw needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face, and I mean that virtually, of course. I wouldn’t want to invoke (sic) any violence on anyone,” he said, according to SMH.

“But, I mean, some of the behaviour and some of the language that’s being used on that program is just outrageous.

“We are doing what we can from the point of view of talking with their producers and various reporters.”

Westbury also told agents to stop watching the program, adding that he had boycotted it.

You can listen to The Age and SMH‘s recording of Westbury’s comments below:

This morning, AFTA’s chief executive issued a statement unreservedly apologising for his remarks.

“My comments relating to Ms Grimshaw involved a very poor choice of words,” Westbury said.

“I apologise for that choice and accept the language used was completely inappropriate.”

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