I write this with the heat of tears welling, such is the power of a compelling, uplifting message. This morning, a treasured colleague told me about this video from Visit Portugal, and it rocked me back on my heels.
I’ve lived and breathed travel for almost 30 years of my life, and worked in travel and tourism for almost as long. I’ve never felt more heart-broken, dismayed or bewildered by how the Coronavirus pandemic has brought the global travel industry to its knees. It’s a resilient industry, because it’s premised on connecting people. It’s become critical to the global economy, and right now, has effectively stopped. We’re meant to connect, but right now we can’t.
“We’re meant to connect, and we’re stronger together, but separated, we are today more united than ever.”
I’ve spent the past week in self-quarantine after travelling to Japan, a privilege that is becoming more symbolic in its meaning to me each day. I’ve been speaking to travel industry peers, colleagues and friends, similarly impacted and wondering what to do, in a fundamentally changed world, where nothing feels certain. We’ve agreed that we as an industry need to stay connected, and plan for the day when global and national restrictions on travel ease or lift, and open the flood gates of demand and desire to travel, to be inspired, to appreciate, live, love and learn.
“Reset, re-centre, switch off, move on.”
Humans have an innate ability to adapt, learn and reflect, and if there’s a positive, it’s as if planet Earth (or your deity, or whichever entity you have faith in) is telling us it’s time to stop. That’s why this video had such an effect on me. It is exactly the right message. If you enjoy it as much as i did, share it and spread the word. #cantskiphope #togetherintravel