Ex Fida Bona is Latin for “good business norms.” Last week TRO produced a webinar entitled “Don’t Let a Crisis go to Waste”. The webinar had its origin in an article in TRO by Richard D’Ambrosio. Like many good articles, I think Richard’s was a starting point. Listen to it with the slightly abbreviated podcast below, or watch it on our webinars page. This first webinar did a good job of stating the problems. Now, it is time to find some solutions. As a result, TRO is launching a series of webinars, articles and online-courses in travel law, accounting and insurance. We want to be a major part of bringing us all out of this mess. This industry is our life, and TRO will be there fighting along with you.
I am not interested in painting a happy picture, nor a morose one. Rather, I am looking for facts on which we can build solutions. I want to hear what travel professionals should do to meet the situation head on. What are real action items we can employ to begin preparing for moving product through the distribution chain again? We can do little to determine When travel will pick back up to sustainable economic levels again, but we have it within our purview to decide How we will manage our business when it does. “Hang in there” may have resonated in April, but that is not enough anymore. I don’t want those who attend our webinars and read our articles to feel TRO is about making them feel better except to the extent we can find concrete steps the travel community can take to meet the situation at hand. It won’t be enough to allay concerns or fears except by pointing to specific courses of action the travel community can take.
Key questions from our initial webinar:
- How to read and understand a supplier’s terms and conditions;
- Understanding and preparing for refunds and chargebacks;
- How to create your own terms and conditions;
- The need to better understand travel insurance;
- Creating valid cash flow analysis and projections;
- Choosing suppliers not just because they are “preferred” with a consortia or host agency, but because a level of trust exists.
There are so many legal, accounting and insurance issues we gloss over with inadequate understanding. The “business” side of the travel business demands more of us.
I have been in the travel industry for 30 years. I know in my own business when times have been tough, as they are now (again), I managed to survive by taking action, doing something, anything, to move myself forward. In the past few weeks I have brought on new writers, I have accelerated my marketing spend and I have launched a podcast network. We are also developing new software products that can be used both within and outside of the travel industry. Are those steps going to be enough? I don’t know. But I’m sure going to try.
Sometimes the only course of action, is action.
The facts are what they are. Absent some miracle, for the vast majority of the industry, it will be another six months at least before anything resembling normality will return. Yet, we have to all survive and come to grip with the situation as it is. Things are tough, they will be tough for a while longer. We have to bring our best game to the table. The agents want to know what can they do next.
So do I.
Many thanks to each of you. Our first column and webinar will launch on October 1, 2020. Watch our Facebook page for upcoming information.