Things have been rough, there’s no denying that. We’re in the midst of unprecedented border closures, grounded planes, empty shelves and the economy has taken a beating. The drastic measures taken by governments around the world are for the good of the globe, but the tourism industry is hurting and it needs your help. At a time when it’s easy to pull away from the idea of ever travelling again, we implore jetsetters around the world to keep one thing in mind when it comes to their upcoming trips. This one small mercy may be the only thing keeping the industry from collapsing completely until we see light at the end of the tunnel.
POSTPONE, DON’T CANCEL
In a time of unprecedented travel restrictions and a fear of the unknown, most people are making the decision to cancel their trips and seek refunds. What you might not realise is that the kindest thing you can do for the travel industry, and one of the only things keeping it afloat during this period of turmoil, is to postpone your plans. We know that for so many of us, we need that cash inject right now and that’s okay, but for those that aren’t relying on a refund of their boutique Bali vacation to pay the bills, then please consider delaying your trip until things get better. It might be the only thing stopping that little villa from closing its doors forever.
NOT JUST YOUR TRAVEL AGENT
The tourism industry makes up around 10% of the global workforce, but we’re not just talking about travel agents and hoteliers who have been forced to take leave without pay. We’re speaking for the scuba instructors in Thailand and the sherpas in Nepal, the bamboo straw craftsmen in Indonesia and the island hopping guides in the Philippines who, without tourism, have nothing at all. Your kindness in postponing gives hope that there will be a time when the tourists will come again, and their incomes will be restored.
FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
No doubt, you’ve received dozens of emails from every company you’ve ever given your information to, outlining the steps they’re taking to flatten the curve of the C-word. More than just junk mail to delete from your inbox without reading, these are plights from desperate companies asking their consumers to have faith, have heart. Hotels especially have amended their terms and conditions to offer future guests additional flexibility, encouraging them to postpone rather than pull the plug entirely. They are being flexible for guests in the hopes that this gesture will be reciprocated, because it is the only thing they can hope for now.
Now, more than ever, we’re called as global citizens to care for one another. We’re all facing different struggles, some great and some small, but the one thing we can do during this time of need is support each other. It’s small businesses that rely on tourism that will hurt the most, and we understand that a lot of individuals may need their refunds to stay afloat, so there are other ways you can help. Try shopping online, ordering takeout from local restaurants or buying gift cards that you can use later. Share your support online through positive reviews and 5 star ratings, as well as engaging with their posts. It may not seem like much, but rest assured every little bit counts.
THE TIME WILL COME
To travel again, to cross borders, to go about our lives in a world that has recovered from this global pandemic. These are uncertain times and we don’t know when things will get better, we don’t know when travel bans will be lifted and order restored, but as with all things… this too shall pass. And when it does, your kindness will hopefully mean private hotels, tour companies, local restaurants and the like will still be there on the other side. Waiting with open doors and open arms to welcome you and to thank you for giving them the chance to fight.