As someone entwined with the travel industry I speak pretty much for myself and from the perspective of that industry, but what I have to say in this article I think will resonate with many. After all, we have had to face the challenges of 2020 as a nation and together we have felt its pain and learned the lessons it has taught us.
Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t over yet either and as we go into 2021 we are faced with a second wave, like a Tsunami that just won’t quit! Certainly, we are a bit better equipped to deal with it now, but its shadow will be hanging over us still for some time and for that reason it got me to thinking about how different this year-end will be – and in particular what our new year’s resolutions might look like!
Resolutions and goals may require some more serious thought
Typically when we get to the end of the year it’s an opportunity to wind down with our families and reflect on what we could have done better – our “Auld Lang Syne” moments from which the essence of our New Year’s resolutions are born. Sadly most of these usually peter out by late January, but maybe this year, because of how deeply we have felt its impact, and the intensity of the lessons learned, what we decide on for 2021 may be quite different.
So what are the main things that we, in the travel industry (and I believe many others) have had to cope with and find better ways to overcome?
Adopt and embrace change
The normal acceptance and adaption to change, so often spoken about in business training, has been magnified about 100 times during the pandemic because this change was so rapidly, unexpectedly and with so little warning, thrust upon us.
It was compulsory too. “Lockdown, shut the doors, go home” – the Government ruled it and we all knew we had to comply to save lives, so it was not a change we would have chosen or had time to adapt to.
‘2020’ required us to react quickly, adapt to and embrace the change, whether we liked it or not, and as a result, these changes will ‘stick’ for much longer. They will always be a reminder of how rapidly we can accept and adopt change, so our resolutions will be affected by that.
Cut out the noise and focus
Aristotle Onassis said, “It is in our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” I can’t think of a quote that could be more apt in terms of what we have all just faced. For the Travel industry, historically this will always be seen as one of our darkest times, so we had to find the light somewhere.
In 2020 we had to learn to cut out the noise, really focus on what was critical to allow us to survive and even thrive. By adapting to the radically changing pace and find other areas of focus, we remained intact as an industry and still see some light at the end of the tunnel going into 2021. This too will affect resolutions for next year.
Not just a new year
I know I’m a hopelessly ‘half glass full’ kind of person and see a challenge as a way to grow, so I am genuinely excited about what lies ahead. We need to remain focussed as a nation on beating this dreaded virus, but vaccines will be rolled out soon and there will be an end to it eventually.
In the meantime when the clock strikes 12 on the 31st Dec 2020 we will not only be taking ourselves into a new year. We will be hurtling into a new ‘operational’ future! We have had to embrace new skills, tackle new tasks, and think of new ways to run our businesses, our homes and the travel industry at large.
With the ‘new’ always comes a beginning. Perhaps this New Year will be just the beginning of a Travel Industry, a nation, a planet in fact, that has learned to adapt to, adopt and embrace the future – whatever it may bring.
I wish you all peace, prosperity and happiness throughout the festive season and 2021.LIDIA FOLLI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER