Have you ever been lost in the woods? It can be a scary event for a child or an adult no matter how you look at it. While the last half of 2008 was pretty scary, we did have a good first half; and I am pretty sure 2009 will not be as kind. Make no mistake; we are deep in the woods right now. Welcome to 2009 and the Hundred Acre Wood.
While no one knows precisely what 2009 will hold for the travel industry, I can guarantee that there will be change. Some agencies and suppliers will be history a year from now. Some will have grown considerably. Some host agencies will disappear either voluntarily or involuntarily. Beyond that, all bets are off.
Your job is to not get lost in the Hundred Acre Wood. Do you have a written business plan? Do you have a written marketing plan? Have you been in contact with all of your preferred suppliers to make sure they are on board with your plans for 2009? Are you prepared to modify or change them on a dime with little or no notice? What happens to your cruise business when the NoroVirus runs rampant? What happens to your pilgrimage tours if the violence escalates in Israel? What happens when your host agency decides to stop paying you the commissions owed? You need to be able to react and to react quickly to save your business.
While the Hundred Acre Wood is really the home of Christopher Robin and Owl, there are two other characters who occasionally wander in—Eeyore and Tigger. Now, Eeyore is the hapless donkey (some might even say he is a jackass) who feels sorry for himself. Nothing ever goes right for poor Eeyore and to be honest, if you hang around him too much, he will drag you down as well. His plan to get out of the Hundred Acre Wood is to wander around running into trees, hoping that he will either somehow find his way out or someone will find him, save him and lead him out.
Tigger on the other hand, is a different beast. Tigger is always looking at the bright side of things and while it may not seem like it, that tiger has a plan. Tigger will get out of the Hundred Acre Wood-make no mistake. He will be constantly on the move. Tigger will run into a tree and bounce right off and head on his way. Very little moss grows beneath his feet as he bounces through the Hundred Acre Wood. And no matter how lost he might get, Tigger knows that at the end of the day, he will get out.
Admittedly, I am not optimistic about 2009. However, I also realize that I need to be able to play the hand I am dealt. Noro Virus, war, and the economy are way out of my reach so I must adapt. I must bounce off the trees of adversity and make my way out of the woods. And you do as well. Now you need to decide for yourself, are you an Eeyore or a Tigger?
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I’m the only one