Over the last several weeks the world has been put to the test. No industry has been left untouched. Orders and guidelines have been put in place and altered as new data became available. The purpose of this blog entry is not to debate a political view or the merits and reasonings for these decisions. It’s to give you an understanding of where we have been, where we are now, and where we are hopefully going.
Since all of us at Discovery Travel are home-based, the stay-at-home and work-from-home when possible orders have been pretty easy to abide by. But we’ve also taken the extra step of self-implementing a stop-sale approach. Our first duty is to you, our client. Your safety and well being has to be at the top of our list. Until we knew more, we couldn’t send you out somewhere, knowing that you were, almost certainly, going to encounter issues in near term travel. Resort chains, Cruise lines, and tour operators followed suit by ceasing operations for periods of time.
Just like most industries, the travel industry is made up of several different parts that work together to be successful. The first point of contact is the travel agents and travel agencies that you work with to plan and book your vacations and trips. Then there are our travel partners, the tour operators, and wholesalers that we work with. Then, there is our Business Development Managers and Strategic Account Managers that we get to know and deal with on a more personal level.
It is also our duty to support the other parts of the travel industry. The resorts, transfers services, excursion companies, tour guides, etc. all depend on the travel agents to connect you to them. Without your business, there is no tourism.
Our duty to the tour operators and wholesalers is beneficial to everyone. They tie it all together and it’s their packages of all the components that allow us to provide you better pricing on bundled packages.
That’s where we have been. Where are we now?
Over the last few days, there has been more and more talk of opening up and how to proceed. Some Cruise lines are scheduled to begin sailing again in mid-May with many others scheduled for early June. The same goes for some of the resort chains in some of the most popular all-inclusive destinations. This, again, has been a very divisive topic. And also again, we cannot take a stand on this either way. We have clients that share views with both sides of this. Since our first duty is to you, we will not book you for these earlier dates if you are not comfortable with doing so. On the other hand, there are many that ARE comfortable traveling in the short term and trust that the resort, cruise lines, etc. will be diligent in providing a safe way to travel. It is our duty to you, our partners, and all our other providers to connect you with them.
Our duty comes full circle back to you. We are continually being updated on new policies, closures, restrictions, etc. We will do our best to keep you up to date on anything concerning your vacation.
In the end, it is our duty to advise you but the final decision must be yours.
That’s where we are now. Where are we going?
There is absolutely no doubt that the Travel industry landscape will change. I will save that for another blog-post. I think one of the most impactful changes has already been seen. It is estimated that as much as 1/3 of travel agents/agencies will end up going out of business or just ceasing operations. Some will transfer the booking over to the resort/hotel/tour operator. Others may just be left to fend for themselves.
Rest assured! We are here for the long run. but we need your help. Just because we are home-based, does not mean that we operate for free. We currently do not charge fees (with the exception of airfare only reservations), but we do have monthly fees that we are responsible for. What can you do to help? Book a vacation or trip with us. Refer your friends and family, and like, share and comment on our social media posts.
The world is eagerly awaiting your arrival. Travel will return, albeit they way we go about it may look a little different.
Be safe my friends!