Travel Agents

Fury over newspaper cartoon depicting travel agency, mocking Samoan measles deaths

New Zealand newspaper the Otago Daily Times is in damage control after it published a cartoon that mocked the recent deaths of more than 60 Samoans.

Currently, the island nation of Samoa is in lockdown after a measles outbreak affected roughly 4,000 people, killing at least 63 of them. Many of those who have died were young children.

A cartoon published in the Otago Daily Times last week showed two women existing a travel agency, with an accompanying caption that read: “I asked, ‘What are the least popular spots at the moment?’ She said: ‘The ones people are picking up in Samoa.’”

The cartoon, by artist Garrick Tremain, was quickly condemned as “heartless”, “appalling” and “distasteful”.

Daniel Leo, CEO of independent rugby players association Pacific Rugby Welfare, led the fury over the illustration.

New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s race relations commissioner, Meng Foon, weighed in on the controversy, calling it a “slap in the face to grieving families”.

“I am very embarrassed that this cartoon originated in New Zealand,” he said.

“It is severely out of touch with the international community who are standing in solidarity by providing help with the medical effort in Samoa.”

The Otago Daily Times has since issued an apology for the cartoon on its website.

“The content and the timing of the cartoon were insensitive, and we apologise without reservation for publishing it,” editor Barry Stewart wrote.

“We have published many stories about the human suffering caused by the outbreak. They are stories not about a virus, they are stories of real people, real hurt, and real tragedy.

“This should have been our starting point when considering publishing the cartoon. That it was not was a deeply regrettable error in judgement.

“We will review our selection process. It must be robust. Our community expects no less.”

After originally defending the cartoon, Tremain has also apologised, admitting: “It should not have been put forward for publication and I acknowledge the lack of judgement on my part.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

AFTA’s interim survey results reveal “distressing” statistics, says Rudd

AFTA has released interim results of its ‘Travelsectorkeeper’ survey, and they make for some pretty grim reading, according to CEO Darren Rudd.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

American Airlines confirms pilot saw UFO, says to contact the FBI

by Ali Coulton

We don’t know about you, but we see this as proof enough to start constructing our tinfoil hats and head for the hills.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Here’s how Scotland is embracing the ‘new normal’

While international travel may be at a standstill, Scottish tourism businesses have kept busy adapting services for their guests and local communities.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch your eyes on rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought we were going down”: What we know about the United Airlines engine explosion

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver when one of its engines blew apart, raining debris on suburban neighbourhoods below.

Share

CommentComments