It has been a very busy start to 2017 at RACV and this month I am pleased to inform you of a number of noteworthy developments.
First, the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, has named two RACV Resorts in its top 25 Travellers’ Choice awards for 2017.
RACV Noosa Resort was named for the fourth consecutive year, ranking sixth in the country for a Family Resort and 20th for a Luxury Resort. RACV Torquay Resort also achieved 15th in the Luxury category and 17th in the Hotel category.
The TripAdvisor annual Travellers’ Choice Awards, now in their 15th year, are based on reviews submitted by millions of travellers – the voices of customers and guests, and in RACV’s case, members. The fact that RACV Noosa and RACV Torquay achieve such great results year after year is testament to our staff’s continued dedication in a very competitive market.
I am also pleased to let you know that RACV is a founding member of the Victorian Government’s world-leading climate change program TAKE2. In 2015, representatives of 195 nations, including Australia, met in Paris for the UN Climate Conference and committed to keeping the global temperature rise under two degrees. RACV has provided advice on more sustainable motoring and transport for many years and we continue to reduce our environmental footprint. See racv.com.au for more details.
Further, RACV’s partnership with the 2017 Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival was a great success. This year, thousands of members enjoyed the opportunity to welcome the Year of the Rooster and to take advantage of exclusive RACV Chinese New Year offers.
Turning to the important issue of road safety, it is disheartening to see that the road toll continues to trend in the wrong direction after a disastrous 2016, when 40 more people lost their lives compared with 2015. It is critical we understand why, after four decades of progress, we are experiencing a rapid decline. RACV strongly believes that the solution lies in a stronger commitment by governments, industry and the community to safer roads, safer vehicles and safer road users.
As the state and federal governments prepare their budgets, RACV is calling for a four-year program of safety upgrades for the sections of our state highway network with the poorest safety ratings. We provided our assessments of the worst sections to the governments and calculated that an investment of $600 million could save about 2800 people from serious injury or death on our roads over the next 20 years.
Government can also mandate lifesaving technologies, such as crash avoidance and warning systems, for all vehicles, not just the upper end. A joint State and Federal government effort to provide incentives for consumers to buy safer cars would go a long way towards ensuring road users are provided with the best protection on the roads. The Victorian Government could lead the way with discounted registration for five-star safety-rated vehicles. This would be a great start, especially for our youngest and most inexperienced drivers.
We all have a role to play in reducing the road toll and I urge members to stay safe on the road and consider the small changes we could each make to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our community safer.
Kevin W White, President & Chairman of the Board