Those of us who have been in the industry a long time thought we had “seen it all”: 9/11, SARS, various financial meltdowns and tanking loonies. But, very sad to say, they all pale in comparison with COVID-19.
The worldwide scope of the crisis, the galloping increases in diagnoses, closed borders and slashed airline schedules – plus the current lack of a vaccine or cure – have made for a nightmare for our industry.
Yet I predict that the industry will, eventually, come back, just as it has from other crises. No one knows when that will be, but in the interim how can we try to put a positive spin on the fact that it is a very quiet time in retail travel? Here are a few ideas:
Trying to put a bright note on all of what has happened, I think it has shown the world the value of what we do. Canadians who booked directly with local suppliers overseas, or who thought they “didn’t need a travel agent”, have learned a hard and valuable lesson. It’s our job now to remind them that we are here to stay, and here to help them for many years to come.
Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With 35 years in the Canadian retail travel industry Lynda “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line” and can be reached at email@example.com.