The Canadian managing director for the Globus family of brands says those in the travel industry shouldn’t panic over the rapidly spreading coronavirus (COVID-19), which has caused chaotic disruptions to much of the international travel scene.
Stephanie Bishop told a Thursday Toronto gathering that “we can’t take anything lightly,” but noted the travel industry has had to contend with many crises in the past few decades.
“We’ve been through many challenging times (that put a damper on international travel)…,” she said, citing the likes of the Gulf War, the Sept. 11 attacks and SARS.
“Let calm prevail.”
The travel industry quickly tends to feel the impact when international crises surface, but also tends to rebound faster than most industries, she said.
Coronavirus’ rapid spread from China to elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America has led to airlines cancelling some routes, some cruise passengers being quarantined on idled ships and some governments restricting travel, with the World Health Organization stating the latter move will do little to stop the spread of the virus.
The Globus brands have suspended their programs to China – the source of coronavirus – through April, after which they will be reassessed.
Bishop said her company is continually monitoring the situation and safety of its passengers remains paramount.
Among countries now having to grapple with coronavirus is Italy, one of Globus’ top-selling destinations.
Bishop said her company isn’t seeing a “huge amount of cancellations,” but recognizes that new bookings might slow.
But Chris Jones, the Globus family of brands’ director of marketing, said those wary about visiting a country that has the virus can opt for a part of the world that hasn’t seen it surface, such as Central America, which is seeing “some really good traction.”
Globus “sells the world,” Jones noted.
Pictured here with the Residence Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame, site of yesterday’s Globus update, are Bishop and Jones.