Let’s praise the travel frontline this week
Let’s take our minds off from the gloomy reality of our times this week and celebrate the unsung heroes of the tourism industry.
Let’s praise the hotel concierge, the cook, the barkeeper, the golf cart driver, and all the travel frontline staff that keep destinations going and are the true faces of the places we love. They are the real champions of the $8.8 trillion behemoth that is generated by worldwide travel, and which has been severely impacted in the last few months by the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9) comes during one the most difficult times ever for the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that more than 5.9 million travel-related jobs projected have been lost by the end of April and travel-related economic output expected to drop $910 billion this year.
This week at least, let’s remember that we’re not in it just for the numbers. Travel contributes so much to the world economy that we sometimes overlook the reasons it makes us happy: on our journeys we relax and energize, we make memories, we meet people. As John Steinbeck once wrote, “People don’t take trips…trips take people.” And the people we interact with most, besides loved ones, are the frontline travel workers. They are the hard workers who keep your rooms clean and your glass full, so that you can enjoy the food and the views. It is their smile you often see first thing in the morning and as you bid farewell to your recent vacation spot.
People and human connection make the tourism industry work, which is why we look forward to the restart of travel and tourism. At Paradise, we feel deeply about the power of people and partnership, and we have implemented a people-first approach to running our business and communicating with clients. As many travel and tourism brands hit the pause button on planned marketing, we have advised taking a mindful approach to communication efforts. In the spirit of sharing our COVID best practices, we developed a toolkit to help clients navigate during this crisis. In fact, VISIT FLORIDA has selected our presentation resource in their valuable resource toolkit guide for its members to utilize as a resource for marketing ideas during this period.
Over the last two decades that Paradise has proudly represented some of the world’s most beautiful destinations and attractions, we have accumulated many awards and trophies for our work on behalf of our tourism clients. And we have met hundreds of these wonderful frontline heroes along the way, during immersion trips or as part of servicing the clients, whether it is bringing media on familiarization trips or shooting the next campaign. We have made many lasting friendships. Just recently, as part of a new business trip to Little Rock, we were embraced, practically adopted, by the chefing staff. They went above and beyond to cook for us the best barbecue ever, and showered us with tips on local activities.
The Little Rock staff exemplifies the true Spirit of Travel, the theme established by the U.S. Travel Association to recognize the importance of the travel industry’s workforce. This week we are also honoring travel heroes by collecting from our team visual memories of those we have interacted with over the years.