May 18, 2021
No one can deny the punishing impact the Covid pandemic has had on the travel and tourism industry, and jobs and livelihoods across the world. So how do we build back and deliver a sustainable recovery for the long term?
One thing is certain, unless we’re prepared to change our mindset and approach, we’ll have more of the same. I for one don’t want to be back here again. There is a need to re-set and re-purpose our industry. So, how do we be the change we want to see? What is our pathway to a long-term recovery?
As an industry, we spend our lives developing journeys and positive experiences for our customers. The re-alignment of our industry is the same – it’s a journey that will take time, care, persistence and fortitude. There is no single pathway or route, but to have the right impact, we all need to broadly agree the principles to collectively end up at the same place. How we each get there will depend on the nature of our business and the degree of vision and opportunity sought. What should unite us is a set of agreed VALUES.
A 5-Step Plan
- Survival – surviving is an achievement which requires prioritising safety protocols, being super flexible and delivering effective but considered and considerate short term business management, to establish economic stability.
- Identify values that make the business meaningful to its customers, staff, suppliers and the destinations, environments and communities it impacts. Consider the environmental, social, climatic and economic impacts of your business and how these wider principles can help you achieve a better more sustainable business model for the long term. To assist, review the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Examine and adjust business models to meet re-defined priorities.
- Start to look longer term. Where do you want to be in one to seven years’ time? Identify some key potential markers and milestones to help plot the journey.
- Develop a strategy and plan that reflects the journey to be taken based on the values and priorities identified. Positively motivate and engage your team and stakeholders. Everyone should feel empowered to be part of the collective vision and journey to rebuild a better future for your business and for all concerned.
Our job is to run businesses and deliver experiences that create long term sustainable futures. Nothing is ever perfect, but it’s better to do the right thing and feel challenged than to blindly do what we’ve always done only to repeat failings of the past. There is always help and expertise available to support the journey. With support from trade bodies like ITT we can all work towards a better and more sustainable future.
And remember, anything worthwhile takes time – you don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.