WRAPPED IN HOPE
The ongoing uncertainty of these times embeds how, during the past year and a half, we’ve all strived to remain positive and hopeful whilst trying to predict personal and professional outcomes. Any risk assessment and mitigation process requires looking at worst case scenarios – being prepared for those whilst hopefully anticipating the best outcomes! This is sensible, and it remains the only viable approach because, let’s be honest, the one thing we’ve learned this year is that predicting the future is a risky business in itself! The brilliant Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue was our Executive in Residence for last Monday’s Season 3 Finale of RISE, and the timing was perfect, because Anita and Demian were able to ask him all the questions we’re all thinking and are desperate to have answered.
What we need to know
Mostly, we want to know what the travel sector – destination governments, tour operators, airlines, etc. – are doing to ensure we can get back out there and safely enjoy our vacations. For you, our RISE viewers, this is relevant from a business perspective as Travel, Tourism and Hospitality practitioners, but also as people who just want to have a holiday!
We need reliable information to feel safe to travel – we need to re-establish some sense of control in terms of health & safety, mobility (especially around border crossings), and cost. There are just too many risks emerging as rules and regulations seem to keep changing.
Dan emphasised the value of predictable protocols. He also stated the importance of destinations having adequate resources and infrastructure in place, suggesting that ‘well-prepared places with tourist – centric posture will attract travelers.’
What we do know
Our RISE audience poll told us that forced quarantine and isolation is still the issue that concerns 2/3 of travelers most when considering overseas holidays. Dan agreed that this reflects his experience, saying ‘traveller confidence in being able to travel and not get Covid is skyrocketing, but unfortunately the concern with respect to border closures, quarantine, and friction in the travel process continues to be significant.’
Our wish-list for the next normal
- Clarity and consistency around travel regulations and requirements from Governments
- Clear communication and messaging of the protocols from all stakeholders
- A smooth transition from restrictions to travel freedom (with no surprises of reversal back to restrictions)
- Co-operation and collaboration between industry sectors
- Empowerment – we all crave a sense of control again. Yes, we need to know that risk is being managed at government and organisational levels, but we also want accurate and reliable information that allows us to make our own decisions again, with a degree of security that we can make the right ones based on the correct information.
- A greater focus on sustainability, finally
- A changed approach to labour within the industry. We said this is a wish-list, so yes, we are going there! The lovable grouch Demian suggested that Anita was dreaming when she argued in the TKO debate that the industry would change their approach to labour, being more conscious of and responsive to employee wellbeing. We all (even Demian) hope that positive change will come from the past year!
- Sustained resilience – we’ve learned much from the pandemic, and our hope is that the resilience we’ve built personally and professionally will be carried with us as we move forward, and that we’ll work together, assisting each other in maintaining this too.
Lastly, we hope the technology that’s been developed in response to this pandemic will assist in preventing the next, so the traumatic experience of the past year may remain there… in the past.
For now, ‘arm doors and cross check!’ We move forward with hope and confidence. Whether you are looking to safely enjoy a long-awaited holiday, or staying put and productive behind a computer screen, RISE is here with you to embrace the next normal. And we are excited to welcome you back for RISE Season 4 in September! Until then, well you know the drill: stay safe, stay strong, stay hopeful.
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