The world is a global village and living on islands of isolation is a near impossible feat. From natural to man-made disasters what emerges in the west affects the east and vice versa. From devastating and uncontrollable tsunamis to the unfortunate acts of terrorism, the repercussions are felt across the globe and the very vulnerable tourism and travel industry is the first to face the brunt. Though the very nature of the travel and tourism industry is rooted towards promoting a positive and healthy global environment as travel broadens horizons and tourism brings continents and cultures together, it’s the outside tumultuous happenings which disrupt this very spirit of tourism.
Having said that, it is important to be a perennial optimist and say – tomorrow will be a better day and the future of our children is secure. But it is not enough to be an armchair optimist but to work as a global team meeting the destructive challenges of the 21st century with a realist and rational approach. Change needs to be brought about from the grassroots level, wherein locals, communities and societies are made to understand the importance of inter-regional, national and international amalgamation. It is the private players that need to take charge as governments across the world may not be able to deliver as desired. Safety and security is the need of the hour that cannot and should not be ignored especially at airports and other points of tourism movements, but it can be implemented in a way that is both foolproof and subtle. Tackling issues with a myopic view is suicidal and an open-minded approach towards working unitedly with a genuine intent of addressing issues is the need of the hour.
This year’s WTTC Global Summit 2012 holds great significance as world leaders, thinkers and professionals related to the tourism and travel industry will converge to find solutions to help lead the tourism industry in turbulent times. History has definite records of civilisations surviving turbulence over years, withstanding plunder, war and destruction. These civilisations have stood the test of time and are raring to go in the 21st century. I leave you with a positive thought that says – there is hope.