If all the news surrounding Coronavirus is getting you down, read on. We caught up with the founder of G Adventures Bruce Poon Tip yesterday during his visit to Australia and he had a fresh and rational perspective for agents.
You’re no doubt being bombarded with questions from nervous customers who may want to cancel their trips in light of the coronavirus.
You’re probably dreading the ‘c word’ and wondering if you’ll get even one customer today who won’t bring it up.
We asked Bruce for his expert opinion on how Agents can best handle these uncertain times.
His response was that “agents need to be guiding lights for their customers right now.”
“The opportunity for the travel industry is to rise above the situation and become an authority on the dissemination of information”.
Founder of G Adventures, Bruce Poon Tip
“There are three countries where there are real issues: China, Korea and Iran,” he said.
“But there are 192 other countries in the world that are very low to no risk of coronavirus.”
He said right now, in the eye of the storm fueled by media hype, it’s important that the travel industry does not buy into the fear-mongering.
“We have to be the calming voice in all that. To tell travellers that Coronavirus is a very low risk for the majority of the planet”.
Founder of G Adventures Bruce Poon Tip
“We should, of course, be monitoring the situation but as the travel industry we should be the authority on that,” he said.
Bruce commented that authorities are putting the number of people affected throughout the entire epidemic at around 90,000.
“With Influenza, there are ten times that many people affected and quadruple as many people who die from the flu”.
“A lot of fear being spread. It’s very imperative for all of us to come together,” he said.
G Adventures has postponed its tours to China, Korea and Iran in light of the virus, but Bruce said plenty of other areas are open to visitors such as Latin America and Africa.
“It’d be really nice if Africa could see a boost,” he said.
Bruce’s key message to agents is that there are many parts of the world that aren’t affected and if agents and the travel industry at large don’t share that news we will be “dead in the water in the industry”.
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As an industry, let’s all work to get through this together.
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