Ahhh. Usually, I am a bit melancholy about the passing of years; you know, that whole getting older thing. But 2020…can’t leave fast enough for me. Or for any of us. I hope everyone had a nice (yet different) holiday and are ready to tackle what 2021 might throw at us. But don’t be worried. There are plenty of good signs, so let’s all take a collective deep breath!
A COVID-19 vaccine is on the way. And being administered right now as you read this. Yes, it may take some months to get us all vaccinated, but in terms of the pandemic, this is truly the beginning of the end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Financial help is on the way. The new administration who will assume the reins in Washington in a few weeks is committed to turning the economy around and helping out small businesses as much as possible. Most loans from the SBA in 2020 can be forgiven and many states have a plethora of grants (free money) to help small businesses. Most Governors understand that America runs on Main Street. Under the new administration, expect to see more direct aid to individuals and additional assistance for the un/under-employed.
Travel is returning. Planes are starting to fill up a little more. Cruise lines are returning to US ports. Millions have been spent to make all aspects of travel as safe as possible. And while I do not expect throngs of people rushing to their favorite travel professional to book that February getaway, with the vaccine on the way, they are likely looking to spring, summer, and beyond. And remember many suppliers have modified their commission payment policies where some (or all) of the commission is paid to you up front. The all-important cash flow faucet has been cracked open.
Our segment of the travel industry has never been more relevant and needed. Let’s be real, people are spooked about travel. Can I safely fly on a plane? What is the COVID situation in Guadalajara? What are the cleaning protocols of the different resorts in Jamaica? I heard there was an outbreak on a specific cruise ship, should I be concerned? How do I get medical treatment while traveling if I need it? All of these questions are now top-of-mind for travelers (among the standard ones that drive us all crazy) and we are in such a good place to answer them. Do you really think a website will be able to discuss the cleaning protocols for Billy Bobs Jamaican Resort? As travel returns in 2021, we will become the essential piece in the travel equation. Over the past few years, we have seen millennials shun the websites and return to professionals for guidance. 2021 will exacerbate that.
Yes folks, 2021 is looking up. We will come into it licking our wounds for sure, but as the Magic 8 Ball might say…things are looking up!
Happy New Year!