Include. Ignite. Innovate.
As I reflect back on my observations of this vibrant sector called tourism and travel, I can only express myself in the two words that Hope Floats. Industry thought leaders, across segments namely the tour operators both inbound and outbound, hoteliers, transport facilitators be it aviation, railways, roads and cruises have all jointly contributed to the growth of this industry. When I speak to most old timers, the common expression I receive is ‘well those were the days.’ Most certainly they were, but if I read deeper, they vociferously wish to say that there was a certain level of ethics in the trade while conducting business, which seems like a distant memory. As an eternal optimist, I would say maybe that was the past, but it is time we look into the future and save our present by taking forward the integrity of the past. The first thing the fraternity needs to do with immediate effect is to respect oneself and the profession. Ethical trade practice is the need of the hour and unity should not be just a loosely used term. Undercutting should be considered as a taboo and the industry, I am certain can speak as one voice. Such a practice will reap rich rewards. Speaking as a common voice will also have the power to make the government stand up and listen and probably give tourism its rightful place as a priority sector. Associations also need to get their act together and strengthen their internal mechanisms to be the true voice of the industry and work toward addressing real time issues that will make the future working of its members seamless. Enough have we debated and discussed on what should be, conventions after conventions across the board, be it hospitality, tourism or transport. The time has come to stop complaining and start contributing to the common good. Well no industry is infallible. No doubt the tourism industry has a number of bottlenecks from taxation issues, to government’s focus to aviation volatility. There is a lot we have spoken about namely lethargy, leadership failure and lack of infrastructure. But the time has come to think right to Include, to Ignite and to Innovate. Include – people with a sustainable and responsible tourism approach, Ignite – new practices and policies and Innovate – through constant research and being in sync with the pulse of the market.
We at Express TravelWorld have also taken a call to move on with time from the print format to the digital world, as the industry today is certainly also wanting to embrace technology to further harness its progress. The Gen Nxt of our industry also believes in moving ahead with action rather than archaic thoughts. Let’s move on building this industry one step at a time and well…miracles do happen.