The past two years have been an eye opener in many ways. Covid-19 was a destroyer and so much more. Let’s have a quick look back to when it all started and the pandemic that took hold of our lives, private and business alike…
From the outset we were told what to do and what not to do.
We went into lockdown and then out and then back in, and some places, in and out a few more times. Some authorities said let it rip, then backtracked when hospitals become overwhelmed.
One day we were told to wear face masks, then told, it is not going to help. Now in 2022, we all wear face masks and it is the first measure that is implemented when a crisis point is reached.
At first, we had no vaccine, then there was one, and two, and three and more… They all work; no this one works; no that one works better… We waited patiently as the medical community decided who should or should not be vaccinated and with what and when and by whom. No, wait, ignore all that we told you last week…
So, we were told to get vaccinated and then another vaccination and now another. Some said not to get vaccinated or to take this miracle cure.
It is fair to say that after one year of the pandemic we were all totally confused and not sure what and what not to believe, let alone who to believe. In year two, it was much the same…
In retrospect, some of this is understandable, it has been a massive learning curve for everyone, after all not many could remember the last pandemic, and most of us thought we would never see one.
Well, the list of unreasonable is fairly long so let’s focus on travel.
To stop the pandemic, we must stop the spread of the virus.
Great, let’s stop all international travel and limit domestic travel. We can’t do that said large corporations and vested interests, so travel continued until it was too late and the virus had taken hold in most countries of the world.
Then they said, we need to stop travel, so we did, but it was too late and the result was far worse than if it had been stopped in the initial stages.
Industries and economies destroyed or crippled – a nightmare that we are still living. Economies that relied on travel and tourism suffered terribly.
So having initially failed to stop the spread, many countries looked for ways to reopen as soon as possible.
Let’s open the borders, that should fix the economy. Ok, but travellers will need to spend time in quarantine. 21 days should be fine, no 14 days, no 7 days, no 10 days, no back to 14 days…
Really, what were they thinking…if at all?
Who would travel for a vacation, then have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine? Have the politicians completely lost the plot?
Although happening everywhere, many Asian countries were particularly re-active. Uncertainty while planning makes a tourist look for safer destinations, where a plan is in place that didn’t change every week.
Looking at Thailand, the ‘Sandbox’ solution, while a good idea in principle, will not work while Thai nationals prefer to keep the foreigners out of the country. Many think the current situation will see a slow but serious demise of the tourism industry and might bring the country to another financial crisis as foreign currency income dries up.
At some point, tourism will have to bail out the governments with cheap deals to encourage tourists to return and bring that much needed foreign currency.
The Plain Stupid!
I don’t quite know where to start…
Antivaxxers with their conspiracy theories
How many different conspiracy theories are there currently? (well, according to Google, there are currently about 1,200,000).
Who wants to have his 15 seconds in the limelight, hoping his theory gets picked up by the news and brings fame or maybe a wry smile to the reader?
Some of those theories are so far-fetched, you have to be a serial loser or mentally deficient to actually believe what has been written (Did you know, drinking your own pee cures Covid-19… I rest my case…)
Politicians and/or those in power
So many of the people in power or authority either do not have the education or common sense to deal with a crisis. Either that, or the endemic corruption in governments prioritised financial gain for their benefactors over the health and well-being of the community.
I spent quite some time looking through some of the statement’s various governments have issued about Covid-19 and at times you have to ask yourself, do they read what they publish through their official channels?
People that think they are invincible to Covid-19
All countries have Covid-19 restrictions in place to ensure that its populations stays safe and have some basics rules to reduce the spread of the virus, i.e., wearing mask, large social gatherings, etc.
We then see antivax demonstrations, Covid-19 parties, people refusing to wear masks, all in the name of their personal freedom… Stupid and selfish are the nicest things I can think of to describe them.
The hospitality and tourism industries have, in general, been at the forefront in setting and implementing new standards and rules to attract tourists and provide a reasonably normal and safe environment while staying at hotels or travelling on planes, trains or whatever.
The onus is now on the various governments to help get tourism going again. Maybe a pro-active approach by some of the most travelled destinations/countries will make up for some of the poor decisions they took during the pandemic.
About the Author
Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.