This includes us.
It’s that time of year where we head home for the holidays, to be around the ones we love, except for some reason… this year is different.
Our business is travel. In the pandemic, we’re caught in a hard place and a rock. In order to sustain our business, people must travel. Movement, interaction spreads COVID-19. In short, if people travel, we are flying—literally and figuratively —in the face of death.
Though many industries are being hard hit out there, from healthcare to restaurants, the travel industry is in a unique position that there is no “remote” option for travel. There is no curbside pickup option for going to Italy.
Despite, all of this, we are asking you to not travel this holiday season, a season that we were all hoping might pull us out of the proverbial woods.
Businesses, and particularly established businesses, are not made to withstand a downturn lasting 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year. Any investor, analyst, operator, customer or teenager with an allowance can tell you that.
The fact that we are still standing on our two feet is a miracle.
Unlike what some people think, this hasn’t been a period of lull for the travel industry. Reorganizing, sometimes, multiple times, requires tremendous effort. Learning new ways to innovate and do with less also requires effort. In many ways, we’re working harder than ever.
Everyone is looking for a solution that makes sense without people dying. However, travel is the problem.
It’s a problem that can’t be solved without everyone working together. There are thousands of ways that we can make a difference, that often mean nothing to us, and would mean the world to someone else. The hard work *has* to be done, and the sooner we pull together, the sooner we can become a part of the solution instead of the problem.
Travel, as it turns out, employs a good portion of the globe. The travel industry accounts for approximately 1 in 10 jobs worldwide. Some industry experts have accounted that over half (actually, the number, most often quoted is 70%) of the industry will lose their jobs. That means, before all of this is over, 1 in 20 jobs will be lost, bare minimum.
Throughout the last few months, the pandemic has made me deeply appreciative for all the people that we have worked with, from our writers, photographers, social media people, marketing people, our agency, our bank, our tech people, our partners past and present. It also does not escape me that our existences has impacted the lives of many others besides our readers.
Many of us continue to put on our thinking – and executing hats – on every day to still be here now, so that we will continue to be here *after* the pandemic ends. Our jobs are just made a little bit easier, if we know everyone is else doing their part.
However, what has kept me coming back to this industry is how deeply humane this industry is. Through travel, I have met kind people all over the world, and they have all shown me different ways of thinking, of caring, of finding happiness in the ugliness of this world, which is something we need more than ever.
I want to care for that world. Part of caring for that world means caring about the well-being of others.
Money comes and goes, loneliness comes and goes, frustration comes and goes; death is the final curtain.
The travel industry can afford to lose everything, as long as the world remains. If we built it once before, it can be be built again, and this time, it can be done the way it was meant to be built. So, stay home.
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