The advent of 2010 will close out a rather difficult year in a difficult decade for the travel community. Any decade that opens with a horrific terrorist attack and ends with a financial meltdown can hardly hope to be remembered fondly. The first ten years of this century will never be known as “the good old days” by anyone in the travel industry.
But then again, we are told what does not kill us makes us stronger. My personal observation is any industry that can weather the turmoil of the past year must be made of pretty strong stuff. There is no doubt that travel agents today are smarter, better educated and more technologically savvy than at any time in the past. More travel agents understand the nuances of marketing and more have destination specialist courses and certifications. More travel consultants than ever before market electronically, have their own websites and blogs, e-newsletters and CRM systems. They operate lean companies.
When the going got tough, the travel community kept going.
Everyone is looking to the new year, the new decade, for improved circumstance. There is good reason to be optimistic. Now, resolve to fight smart as well as hard. Continue to pour time into marketing plans and business plans. Continue to request training from your suppliers. Find your areas of specialty and go deep.
Sure, it’s good to have a rough first ten years of the century behind us. But let’s also remember those tribulations made us what we are today. It’s tempting to cynically dismiss the last ten years as though the lessons we learned were wasted. Let’s take a deep breath before stepping over the threshold of 2010 and express some gratitude for simply making it this far.
Many didn’t. Maybe along with “Good riddance” we should add “and Thanks.”
So here’s to travel agents. Anyone would be proud to be in your company.