What a year, what a decade! 2019 closes this chapter on what has been another rollercoaster of a ride for the travel industry. Still here? Congratulations: You’re already winning.
In the last ten years, we’ve seen so many ‘disruptions’ to our industry that have changed the landscape forever and asked us for innovation and resilience along the way.
From where hungover, we woke up in 2009 in a global recession to more recent realities of over-tourism, the climate crisis, terrorism and destination disasters to the rise of group buying travel sites, mobile agents, the NDC and several traditional wholesalers and travel companies closing their doors… To name but a few.
Not to mention the massive advancement in technology, travel marketing and social media (hello influencers!), flights getting longer and so many new travel products, destinations and experiences opening up to inspire more people to travel.
“Travel is the only thing that makes you richer!” Ain’t that the truth, but we’ve always known that haven’t we?
In the last decade, travel has become cheaper, more accessible and more desired by the world as a priority in life, which has meant more opportunities for those in the industry that embraced people’s changing needs and the way they want to book their travel.
But if there’s one comforting thought to take into 2020, it’s a simple fact of life that ‘Everything changes and nothing changes.’
There’s no doubt that our next 2020 chapter will bring more change and opportunities and challenges for all of us.
Yes, the industry has changed monumentally and will continue to evolve just as all industry’s do. But one thing that will never change (not in the foreseeable future anyway) is that it is people who make the world go round. And it’s people who can be the ones to make change happen.
“Travel agents are a thing of the past.” We’ve heard this in the travel industry ad nauseam for the last twenty years, and it’s still as dull and irrelevant today as it was when the negative nancy’s first began with their futurist predictions way back whenever.
Turns out the internet and travel agents can co-exist, tech and social media are essential tools to help agents and their clients while people have become more time-poor and nervously confused about planning travel than ever before.
When it comes to customer service, the principles remain the same as they generally always have: Incredible, expert, personalised service that creates value and loyalty and a deeper relationship built on trust and ‘being human.’
Tech is awesome, but it simply can’t exist in society solely without human connection and empathy. If the last decade has taught us anything, it is that relying on tech alone has only made us feel more disconnected, anxious and lonely as people.
Travel should fill the ‘disconnection’ void in every sense. From planning, sharing and booking your getaway, to the life-changing connections and experiences you share on your trip with those you love and those you just met.
It’s all of our roles in the travel industry to responsibly lead the way and don’t we all love it? I genuinely believe it’s the reason why so many of us have chosen to work in ‘travel for life’ and am continually impressed by the ‘above, and beyond’ stories of people making travellers dreams come true.
Travel agents have again, never been more relevant — cheers to that.
We did so many exciting things at Karryon this year, including launching www.traveltochangetheworld.com back in May and sharing lots of incredible moments with you all at events, conferences and on trips all over the world.
Given we’ve still only been around for seven years of this decade, we hope we’ve positively helped change the industry landscape too.
And we’ve got many more significant developments coming in 2020 including a new website, some very cool events and fams and a foray over the Tasman to New Zealand where Karryon.co.nz will soon be born.
More on that soon!
On behalf of all of us at Karryon, I’d like to say a hugely gushing THANK YOU! to all of you who have continued to not just support and read us in 2019 but play your part in helping evolve us as your publication and brand and the travel industry’s number one media site.
As a free publication, we couldn’t do it without you, and why would we want to? It’s you that makes everything better. In a nutshell, You are awesome!
We wish you all the very best for the holidays and can’t wait to continue the journey with you in 2020.
Have a fantastic time with your loved ones, safe travels and see you in 2020.
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