Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Mar 30, 2020

Our world became so small, so fast


How did the world become so small, so fast?

If I was 12 years old, reading all of those end-of-the world, science fiction novels that I used to read, I couldn’t imagine a plot line more frightening than the one that the world is living today.

I’m not 12 though, and I’ve spent 40 years watching the travel and tourism industry grow into a massive economic force, and in those four decades, I could never have imagined the events that have played out over the past two and a half months.

There is nothing that I can offer as a comparison – not 9/11, not SARs, not the 2008 global meltdown, not two Gulf Wars, not natural disasters, not industry consolidation, mergers or bankruptcies – and I certainly can’t imagine what’s to come.

Is there anyone out there who could have imagined the travel and tourism industry – with all of its resilience and creativity – being shut down?

Every sector of the industry has temporarily suspended operations or, if a destination, shut their borders to visitors until further notice.

To all intents and purposes, there is no travel – at least not as we know it.

Yet, the events of the past two and a half months have seen the travel industry step up.

Credit is due to all of Canada’s airlines for their efforts in bringing Canadians home.

Credit is due to a host of suppliers who have introduced flexible cancellation and waiver policies to assist their agents and their customers.

And credit is definitely due to travel agents across the country and the work they’ve been doing for their clients.

But the question I think we’re all asking is simply: What’s next? And, honestly, I don’t know the answer.

I do know that businesses and associations are reaching out to governments at all levels to make sure they know, not simply the dire straits they’re in, but what they need to continue to stay in business right now and what they’re going to need when this is all over … whenever that may be.

And I do know that airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, destinations, agents, and others are all looking at ways to manage through the present times we’re living in and how to prepare for the future.

That’s good. It’s something for all of us to focus on.

It’s a way to push down the fear that we’re all feeling right now… for our businesses… for our families… for ourselves.

It’s about looking ahead to the future, which, while it may be cloudy right now, is out there.

Here, at Canadian Travel Press – and all of our other publications, Travel Courier, Press Today, – we’re looking ahead. Looking at ways to keep our readers informed about all of the events taking place in the world today. We’ll be here for you – now and in the future.

As Canadians, I think, we all need to recognize the efforts of our governments and health experts at all levels because they clearly have a plan and that should give us some comfort.

As Canadians, we also need to recognize all of those people who are putting themselves in harm’s way to take care of us … going out each day to work in the grocery stores, pharmacies, to deliver our mail and even to sell us our beer and wine.

But, most importantly, we need to recognize the people who take care of us at hospitals and medical facilities across the country.

These people are our heroes and we need to take care of them.

So stay at home. Stay well. Stay strong. We will get through this.