The global travel industry has faced dozens of world events over the past decade that would render any involved investor shitless.
Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Fuel Prices, Floods… and the current, media-savvy flavor of the month – terrorists.
There has always been some sort of risk in heading overseas – but you can’t deny that since we entered the new millennia we’ve experienced volatility at its craziest.
We’ve even turned an unfortunate leaf as a society whereas passenger planes are being shot out of the sky by a few mental-cases with access to high-tech weaponry.
I know this is starting to sound negative – but that’s not where I’m going.
Travel has never been cheaper, planes never more comfy and information never more readily available. It’s thriving – in the face of global terrorism threats.
Because we won’t be scared to experience our lives as we choose.
We won’t judge other cultures as scary.
We won’t stop admiring our beautiful world through our rose-tinted glasses.
Oh, and we won’t be cancelling that holiday.
Giving up our freedom is exactly what we cannot do.
People sometimes use the term “then they’re winning”. That goes a bit far for me to be honest – to be winning would imply that they have actually have a chance. And cowards never win.
The chance of being directly affected by a terrorist attack is like one in twenty-two million. You’re probably more likely to become Jay Z’s next favorite baseball cap. In fact, you’re actually three times more likely to be struck by lightening.
So I’m going to keep travelling – I’ll continue to strike up random conversations with people I don’t know – and I’ll keep urging others to do the same.
Because, I’m a Travel Agent as well – and this gives me the chance to instill my opinion on others.
My influence could change someone’s life – for the good – and for the bad. So when a customer asks me about whether they should cancel their 50th anniversary trip to Paris – I’ll say no. I’ll urge them to follow through with their dream holiday.
And this isn’t selfishness talking. It’s not because I don’t want to do extra work and lose out on commission – it’s because this single cancellation will have a knock on affect – having consequences on dozens of people’s lives. From the airport cleaner who had their shifts cut, to the boutique hotel owner in Brussels, to the lady selling gelato on the beach.
Tourism is a huge industry, one that provides a living for millions of people all over the planet.
If you think that one cancellation won’t matter, imagine every Travel Agent in Australia cancelled only one booking each. Now lets say that average was about $2000 per booking times roughly 5000 agents. That’s ten million dollars lost right there – and that’s covering hotels and flights only. Think about the money being taken from the hands of local business owners that couldn’t sell you a Pad Thai or a souvenir bear.
That’s the monetized version. We can’t even put a price on lost experiences. What about all of the kids that will miss out on their European gap-year with Contiki because mum and dad were nervous about terrorists and talked them into going to a science camp in Canberra instead.
That’s where they’ll hurt us in the long-term. By forcing us to raise a generation of scared cats.
So, if you’re a traveller – and you’re considering cancelling your trip – don’t. You’ll regret it.
If you’re a Travel Agent – please consider my above words and remember you’re on the front lines of the industry. Pay it forward.
Have you seen an increasing concern amongst your clients over the last couple of weeks since the Paris attack?
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