Here we are, in the middle of a crisis that threatens the very existence of our industry, and yet, curiously, I find myself trying to avoid reading the news. And if you are reading this in the trade news, don’t think I don’t appreciate the irony.
We are blessed with fantastic trade media, and the information they share is particularly valuable at a time like this. But I can’t bear to see our industry tearing itself apart.
At a time when the whole world is in disarray, and the global travel industry is on its knees, we should be standing together, united. Yet we seem to have turned on each other.
This crisis affects everyone involved in travel, from the travelling public, right through to the family that normally provides the fruit and veg to a rural lodge, and everyone in between.
We could all work together. Consumer rights experts, travel trade bodies and individual companies could look for a united solution to the cash crisis that is impacting everyone. We could collectively approach the government for a solution that works for everyone. We really could.
But instead, we have consumer champions pointing the finger at the travel industry. Sectors of the industry pointing the finger at other sectors. All looking to blame someone for the crisis.
But none of these people are to blame. How can they be? The blame lies with an invisible, silent killer. A virus that none of us has any control over, which is taking lives, destroying families. Covid-19 has created a situation that was unthinkable outside of a Hollywood blockbuster. Unthinkable. Unexpected. Unplanned for. Impossible.
So why all the finger pointing? I wish I knew. I wish I understood.
Some of it is frustration, I imagine. And some is born from misunderstanding. But, incredibly, some is also deliberate.
Some of this comes from people looking to take advantage of a terrible situation, using the crisis to position themselves and their companies in a particular way that will allow them to benefit once travel bookings take off again; making their competitors look untrustworthy.