Ahhh. Usually, I am a bit melancholy about the passing of years; you know, that whole getting older thing. But 2020…can’t leave fast enough for me. Or for any of us. I hope everyone had a nice (yet different) holiday and are ready to tackle what 2021 might throw at us. But don’t be worried. There are plenty of good signs, so let’s all take a collective deep breath!
A COVID-19 vaccine is on the way. And being administered right now as you read this. Yes, it may take some months to get us all vaccinated, but in terms of the pandemic, this is truly the beginning of the end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Financial help is on the way. The new administration who will assume the reins in Washington in a few weeks is committed to turning the economy around and helping out small businesses as much as possible. Most loans from the SBA in 2020 can be forgiven and many states have a plethora of grants (free money) to help small businesses. Most Governors understand that America runs on Main Street. Under the new administration, expect to see more direct aid to individuals and additional assistance for the un/under-employed.
Travel is returning. Planes are starting to fill up a little more. Cruise lines are returning to US ports. Millions have been spent to make all aspects of travel as safe as possible. And while I do not expect throngs of people rushing to their favorite travel professional to book that February getaway, with the vaccine on the way, they are likely looking to spring, summer, and beyond. And remember many suppliers have modified their commission payment policies where some (or all) of the commission is paid to you up front. The all-important cash flow faucet has been cracked open.
Our segment of the travel industry has never been more relevant and needed. Let’s be real, people are spooked about travel. Can I safely fly on a plane? What is the COVID situation in Guadalajara? What are the cleaning protocols of the different resorts in Jamaica? I heard there was an outbreak on a specific cruise ship, should I be concerned? How do I get medical treatment while traveling if I need it? All of these questions are now top-of-mind for travelers (among the standard ones that drive us all crazy) and we are in such a good place to answer them. Do you really think a website will be able to discuss the cleaning protocols for Billy Bobs Jamaican Resort? As travel returns in 2021, we will become the essential piece in the travel equation. Over the past few years, we have seen millennials shun the websites and return to professionals for guidance. 2021 will exacerbate that.
Yes folks, 2021 is looking up. We will come into it licking our wounds for sure, but as the Magic 8 Ball might say…things are looking up!
Happy New Year!
It doesn’t get more luxurious than the Stein Eriksen Lodge — you can spend an entire day in the upscale spa or make use of the property’s extensive wine collection over dinner. Those interested in skiing will enjoy easy access to Deer Valley Resort, a ski area known for its customer service and family-friendly terrain. True to form, this ski lodge has all the cozy touches that make a winter lodge so appealing — beds heaped with pillows, in-room fireplaces, and suites with private hot tubs.
Many of you have been asking about your upcoming travel plans. I want to assist you with your questions, but first, a few words about more important matters.
We find ourselves in interesting times, where much of the normal functioning of our daily lives seems out of order. However, there are also a great many certainties. While we are all engaged in our various pursuits to earn a living and raise our families, we are also neighbors and friends. I want to say I am here for you. Things will at some point return to normal, we will get on with the routine we sometimes complain about but for which we are now a little nostalgic. Until then, know beyond being your “travel agent,” you and I are neighbors, friends and family. As we move through the next few weeks, be strong and maintain your conviction in those things that have always sustained you, whether that be your faith, your family your pets or your own sense of integrity. We will all get through this together.
Stay informed, but give yourself a break from the 24 hour news cycle. Here are a couple of good resources for information:
Coronavirus Information Center CDC
World Health Organization
World Health Organization Q&A
Now, about those travel plans. Travel suppliers have all been modifying the cancellation policies to assist passengers, waiving fees and penalties for changes. If you had plans about which you have questions, here is my phone number (818) 834-0169 and my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A few of you have also inquired about future travel plans. Please reach out to me at any time to discuss and I will provide you with any information you need. As the travel industry regains momentum, there will no doubt be many great opportunities, we can discuss as you feel ready.
If there is anything I can do for you over the coming weeks, or if you just want to check in and talk, know I am here for you. We all want to practice a sound “social distancing” as the medical profession calls it, but that does not mean social disconnection. Stay informed and stay safe. If you need anything, we are a phone call away.
Hang in there, Be strong. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, have faith, and wash your hands!
Yours in travel,