The question “What do you want?” can sometimes be one of the most difficult to answer. It’s an odd psychological quirk we often find it far easier to say what we don’t want.
So let’s consider this: What do you want for the travel industry? It’s time to be clear with ourselves.
The comments I put forth below I make with some hesitation, because I know they can, and probably will, be distorted. With the current Covid-19 infection rate being what it is, until we can demonstrate declining numbers and a degree of control over the situation, most of Europe and Asia will remain closed to US Citizens. But Italy and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit only a couple of months ago, have driven their infection rate down to manageable levels. This stands in stark contrast to our own experience and the incidence here which continues to rise.
There is a problem with our analysis. We have treated the situation as political rather than what it really is: economic. Scarce resources, like human life and time, are being wasted and taking our industry down with it. It does not have to be this way. So for a moment, treat this as a purely economic matter. You are losing money. How are you going to fix the problem?
We are going to have to science our way out of this.
Irrational argument and spurious assertions will not do it. We have good examples of how to make Coronavirus subside. Other countries have done so. Want the travel industry, tour operators, cruise lines, travel agencies to survive intact? Get rational. Get scientific. There will be plenty of time to argue later. But self-interest, if not concern for your fellow Americans, indicates we need to approach the problem differently from the way we are doing so now. Remember, Italy, too, was slow to act. But they came out of this. We can come out of this. But only through cooperation, only through evidence-based, right-headed efforts.
Basic protections like lock downs and social distancing are under attack as are masks. OK, everyone has a right to their opinion. But good people who are experts in their field, as well as the experience of other nations, are indicating perhaps we can give it a better effort. We need to pull in the same direction together. When I see others in my industry arguing against the methodology that has brought Europe out of its situation, I don’t understand. Why are we arguing against our self-interest? Why are we encouraging non-industry types to engage in similar disregard for what we know works?
I don’t want to argue or be political. I want to travel. So do you.
What do I want? I want our industry back on its feet.
How can we do that? Science. We could have ourselves in the same position as Italy and South Korea and Vietnam today in a couple of months. Clients would be traveling, you would be booking their travel.
Science. Economics. Not politics.
We need to decide. We need your voice and leadership.