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When climactic calamity strikes

When climactic calamity strikes, who’s got you back?

I have written extensively on sustainability issues and how travel can affect the environment. I have also touched on how the environment and some of the climate changes we are experiencing can make a difference to one’s travel plans. Now however, the impact of global warming appears to be creating a series of changes and even disasters that we can no longer deny will have a major influence on travel – and this again highlights the importance of making travel arrangements through professional TMCs.

If you don’t believe how significant climate changes are affecting travel I can cite some statistics from a recent Skift article I read where they talk about “A 2024 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study which found that by the end of the century, destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Mexico and India are expected to experience a sharp reduction in ‘outdoor days’ — defined as 24-hour windows in which temperatures are pleasant enough for most people to enjoy outdoor activities. The Dominican Republic is projected to have 124 fewer outdoor days, the biggest drop of all the destinations researched!”.

The vital role of Travel Professionals when catastrophe strikes!

The recent events in Dubai are just one example of the kinds of natural disasters brought on by global warming that I am talking about. Recently severe flooding created havoc with travellers to this hub of international travel, but there have been many more disasters like this around the globe and this type of incident is becoming more prevalent. I know I have written often about the importance of utilising the skills and experience of TMCs, as opposed to just booking something on the internet and leaving your journey to chance, but when natural disasters strike, you want to have a team of experts on your side. Across my three travel management businesses, all were able to access travellers affected by cancelled flights through our data reporting. Not only were we able to identify our travellers on route, we were also able to pull reports for the next few days, and pro-actively re-direct our travellers, both outbound and inbound within a few hours. Further, for our travellers already en-route or at the Dubai airport and unable to travel to onward destinations, we engaged with our account management team at Emirates, to assist us. The Emirates team worked late into the night and early hours of the morning – a huge shout out to their team, particularly @Farahnaz Ebrahim for your tireless efforts to getting our clients through this challenge. I am afraid your internet booking channels simply cannot compete with our professional service!

The light at the end of the tunnel

A couple of positive things emanating from the current situation is an increased drive to deal with sustainability issues and many travellers are now making travel choices based on this. Airlines in particular are working harder than ever to reduce carbon emissions from flights and the entire hospitality sector is doing its part. Governments and travel authorities are wading in too and implementing travel taxes to mitigate the impact of climate change with the belief that the revenue from these taxes will help fight it.

Most importantly, many travellers, due to recent disasters, are becoming more aware of the inherent risks they may face when travelling and they are indeed turning more to seeking the advice and assistance of TCMs to assess their best choices for travel. Sadly, we are facing what we are, but we cannot bury our heads in the sand and think this trend may not continue. There is a significant impact of climate change on travel now and we have to accept that when climactic calamity strikes – you need someone who’s got your back!

LIDIA FOLLI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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