Getting lost in the woods can be scary. 2020 started out pretty decently for the travel industry—wave season was underway. Bookings were solid. Suppliers were flush. And then COVID! 2020 went to hell in a handbasket and 2021 (if we are honest) is not shaping up to be much better. Face it, we are deep in the woods. Welcome to 2020 and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood.
While no one knows precisely what 2021 will hold for the travel industry, I can guarantee that there will be change. Many agencies and suppliers will be history a year from now. Some may grow. Some host agencies will disappear. But, beyond that, all bets are off.
Our 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 stable and ready to work with you toward common success? Are you prepared to modify or change them (really beginning to dislike the word “pivot”) on a dime with little or no notice? What happens to your cruise business if COVID returns and runs rampant? 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.
Do you remember the Hundred Acre Wood? It is really the home of Christopher Robin and Owl; but there are two other characters who occasionally wander in—Eeyore and Tigger. Now, Eeyore is the hapless donkey who feels sorry for himself and wanders around letting people know how bad things are. 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. There are some travel Eeyores out there. You know who they are!
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 is constantly on the move. When Tigger runs into a tree or a wall, he bounces off and heads in a different direction. 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. There are some travel Tiggers out there; and you also know who they are!
Admittedly, I am not optimistic about 2021. But I need to play the hand I am dealt. I cannot control COVID, Noro Virus, war, and the economy, so I must adapt. I must bounce off the trees of adversity and make my way out of the woods.
Go forth and be 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