Travel industry aficionado Ollie Tams has been around the world and back when it comes to navigating the countless crisis’ our industry has had to face over the years. In this letter to the industry, his sage advice has never been more needed.
What I know… from domestic collapses like Compass Mark 1 & 2, Ansett, international carrier collapses too may to remember, the litany of supplier failures that continue to this day, the pilots strike, recessions, SARS, bird flu, ebola, swine flu, the global financial crisis, 911, bombings, terrorism that never ends, a dollar often incongruent with travel plans and natural disasters too close to home?
* I know it’s never about the money.
It’s always about the people. Ours is an industry built on individuals who come together forming a collective for the good of all.
* I know hard decisions made now can future proof your business.
If you can’t make them on your own, find people empathetic and skilled who can help.
* I know a 3 or 4 day week is better than the alternative.
* I know that honest and open communication is the only way to work through challenges.
It’s difficult to be open about your situation but authenticity eats anxiety for breakfast.
* I know that crisis can bring out the best in people.
Look around and find people within and without, who don’t shy away from the challenge demand their attention. Is this the time to become that person?
* I know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
Use your relationships and your group and association tie-ups to find people you trust to help because we all have a huge capacity to help. No one should be working in a silo, so find your people.
* I know that this is not a time to stop telling your story.
If the belt-tightening includes marketing, then look to outsource. For the worst sin is to disappear and not be ready for when the crisis passes and the demand escalates again.
Your staff and your customers need to know your why – thank you Simon Sinek.
* I know this industry is the most resilient of all, and this crisis, it too shall pass.
* I know you all know the above.
It’s good to be reminded of what we have been through, what we have accomplished since and what we are capable of accomplishing in the future.
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