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Anthony Goldman: Why We All Need To Save The Travel Industry

"The hardest thing to wrap my brain around is that we have all done nothing wrong." In this thought-provoking opinion piece, Goldman Travel Corporation Joint General Manager Anthony Goldman shares his four tips for agents to help prioritise what they can take control of right now.

“The hardest thing to wrap my brain around is that we have all done nothing wrong.” In this thought-provoking opinion piece, Goldman Travel Corporation Joint General Manager Anthony Goldman shares his four tips for agents to help prioritise what they can take control of right now.

“Save the Travel Industry”.

Four words I never imagined I would utter, let alone ask friends and contacts to support. An industry that employs tens of thousands of Australians – and brings enjoyment, satisfaction and rehabilitation to millions of Aussies every year.

Today marks 323 days since our international borders closed. And we have witnessed the openings and closings of domestic borders with more frequency than I have looked for my passport this year. That’s for sure.

And now the wonderful community of travel advisors, city hoteliers, some regional hoteliers, tour operators, cruise lines and wholesalers are counting down days until the government’s current JobKeeper program finishes – and we await further announcements from the PM and Treasurer.

Maybe those companies who have taken advantage and abused the JobKeeper program could offer some part-time jobs to those in the travel industry.

Just a cheeky thought.

Goldman
Anthony Goldman, Tom Goldman, David Goldman – Goldman Travel Corporation

The Goldman family is third generation travel people. This is what we do.

We live and breathe this industry and have done for 80 years since my Grandfather Alfons Goldman organised a ship from Croatia to Palestine full of Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Europe.

There are hundreds of stories. And it’s humbling.

We have spent years of our lives providing for others and making their holidays just perfect. And now, many of our colleagues and industry mates are wondering how to fund mortgages, rents, school fees and daily living expenses.

To Scott and Josh. I know that you know you need to do something.

Whilst I applaud the grants you have handed out, that money is long gone. We spent that before the money arrived in our bank account. On back-lease payments, technology fees and oh yes, commission refunds to clients.

We need to keep our staff engaged and employed. We are still managing thousands of dollars of client money.

Failing further support, please let travel agencies know where to drop off our client files with their contact details.

You work it out. I’m being cheeky I know, but that’s the reality.

For those who know me, you know I stay positive about life and the current situation. As I lie awake most mornings between 3am to 4am, I replay the last 323 days of our lives. I still question how it all happened and how the ass fell out of this industry overnight (please excuse the language).

The hardest thing to wrap my brain around is that we have all done nothing wrong. No bad management, no mismanagement. Just bad bloody luck. That’s the hard thing really. It’s all out of our control.

But there are some things still in our control right now.

Firstly, now is not the time to wait “to see what happens next”.

Now is the time to act and look after ourselves. We all thought this period would be done and dusted by now. Look for that second job or side hustle now. It’s going to be at least 12 months until we see real revenues flow into our travel businesses.

Secondly, share the current #SaveTheTravelIndustry campaign

Petition on all your social channels and by any means possible. The more the merrier.

Next, contact your local MP.

Have a word with them and let them know what’s going on. Like a good husband, you need to tell them 3-4 times before they hear you. I know. trust me.

And finally, take care of you.

Take care of your mental and physical being.

We know tomorrow will come.

And we know Australians will need and want us – as they always have.

The role of the Travel Advisor will be stronger than ever in the coming months and years. Travellers will need to seek expert advice. They will need to navigate the changing travel landscape. And they will need a trusted guide for their travels around Australia, the APAC region and the globe.

We have already seen a steady stream of new clients. Ask for the client referrals. We are.

Oh sorry. Have to run. I need to process another refund and change a Queensland hotel booking for the fourth time.