Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Dec 14, 2020

I’ve looked at this from both sides, now … seriously

Some final thoughts … at least for now …


Yes, I’ve looked at clouds from both sides, now … and frankly, I agree with Joni, I really don’t know clouds at all.

In fact, these days, I find myself floating some-where between the cloudy hopes of guarded optimism and the hazy worries of cautious pessimism.

Trying to figure out whether this journey we’re all on together is still at its beginning or nearing its end.

No clear answer here … clouds keep getting in the way …

More worrisome, though, is that I’m beginning to think that we’re all stuck together in some 1950s Twilight Zone-like transit lounge; clouds of smoke hanging in the air; listening as the clock ticks off the seconds – tick … tick … tick — waiting for something, anything, to happen so we can all just get out of there and breath in some certainty.

Now it’s probably inaccurate to say that nothing has happened since March, but in all honesty, for this industry it has been all about keeping its plight in front of the people who can provide it with the financial sustenance it needs to stay alive until … well, just, until …

That’s the problem, isn’t it?

When will borders open? When will quarantine rules be revised? Will airport testing programs be used to reduce the length of quarantines? What about travel advisories – when will they be removed?

And the big one, what’s the plan, the timeline that the travel and tourism industry can use to guide their planning as it tries to move forward.

I’ve heard this from many of you – again and again and again – that what you need is a path that you can follow to recovery … no matter how far down the road that recovery is … no matter how painful that journey may be.

As I write this, COVID-19 cases are spiking across Canada and modelling is revealing a potential for a devastating winter for this country.

It’s in the shadow of this development that the final days of 2020 are unravelling as we all prepare to begin a new year.

What’s next? That’s a bit of a cruel question to ask, but I asked a good number of people to contribute to CTP’s two-issue Forecast, so I suppose it’s only fair that I contribute to the effort.

My best-case scenario for 2021 is that the industry will get what it needs — a clear idea of what it has to do and when it can do it so it can get people travelling again. If that happens, then I’m confident that all of you will be able to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. It has been quite a fall, but this industry always picks itself up.

My worst case would be the status quo … a rudderless ship battered and buffeted, with no hope of righting itself … and that, you’ll agree, is unthinkable.

Yet as this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press heads to the printers, the news on the vaccine front is good … the Pfizer vaccine has received Canadian approval and the first batch of it is expected to be on its way to this country in the next week or so.

The federal and provincial governments are putting plans in place to get the vaccine to people as quickly as possible in a way that is both efficient and, for me, most importantly, fairly.
It is good news that is sorely needed and gives us all reason to be hopeful about the coming year.

And while it may not happen as fast as all of us would like – the devil, in this instance, will definitely be in the details – by this time next year, I believe that all of you will be back doing what you do best, making your client’s dreams come true … the clouds will have lifted … and this nightmare will be behind us.

Until then, all I’ve got is:

Prepare for the worst.

Hope for the best.

And deal with whatever comes your way.

Now, why am I telling you that?

That’s what you’ve always done, isn’t it?

So, stay strong, better things are on the way.