Back in 2009 the economy, including our own industry, was working hard to recover from a tough recession. Fast-forward 10 years and we face fresh challenges.
While we have weathered our fair share of turbulent times over the past decade, it’s also worth remembering some of the highlights that showcase just how incredibly resilient our sector is and how far we’ve come. Not least the advances in technology that have enabled us to improve our product and services and, in turn, customer relations and – ultimately – the bottom line.
Let’s not forget this is the decade that gave us Instagram (how many of us can now imagine a world without social media?), saw London showcase the UK in its best possible light by hosting the Olympics, and heralded a much-needed heightened awareness of responsible tourism.
While none of us know exactly how the next year and decade will unfold, there are a few industry trends that look set to pave the way.
And new ones will be born too. As I write this, recent actions mean the world has taken a step backwards in what should be its aim of living in peace and harmony, with geopolitical turmoil making the headlines once again.
Scaremongering headlines such as “Is this the start of World War 3?” had my daughter asking me about the possibility of us going to war when we should have been snorkelling, enjoying the last day of our holiday in beautiful Barbados.
And while Brexit has been consigned to the second page, it’s still hanging over us.
As you’re reading this, we’re in the midst of peaks season. If it’s anything like December, I have no doubt it will be busy.
Based on the call volumes we’ve been seeing at Gold Medal and Travel 2 since 27 December, I have a lot to be positive about.
The new norm for the world is we live and operate in uncertain times.
Strategic planning is a given in business, but growth, innovation, stability and profitability will be realised by those whose strategies include agility – in particular, the ability to implement effective change with pace.
To quote former US president Theodore Roosevelt: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Whether you’re in tour operator like me, or you’re a retailer, a DMC, an airline, a hotel, a cruise line or one of the many other organisations that make up our fabulous industry, we all need to keep our businesses agile, focus on the positives and extol the virtues of the travel industry.
Let’s remember ours is still one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors.
We have a lot to be proud of. Let’s not forget to seize the opportunity to make the most of the innovation, change, new consumer habits and technology impacting our sector.
Wherever 2020 takes you, I wish you success and happiness on the way.
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Gold Medal and Travel 2 are trade-only operators providing you with access to over 100,000 hotels, all major airlines, touring, cruise, groups and luxury, all at the most competitive prices in the market.