Each month brings new answers and new questions. For many of us, the shift is beginning, albeit slowly, from a defensive posture with an onslaught of cancellations, to an offensive one with inquiries and bookings beginning to return slowly.
It’s great to see all the announcements from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ecuador, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Egypt, Jordan, Zambia, and others reopening their borders to international travelers, including North Americans. Even more encouraging is the progression towards opening from countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Indonesia, Uruguay, Peru and others as they restart stages of domestic tourism in preparation for the return of international tourism. Add to this the US dropping their level 4 global travel ban, and slowly adding countries back to their safe travel list. While that list is short, the change is rapid. Even airlines, battered as they are, have been retiring old equipment with as many new aircraft as they can, including widespread use of the new Airbus A350 to connect US and Africa, and the return of the redesigned Boeing 737MAX, with enhanced air filtration and cleaning procedures. While these systems both in countries and in the air are still in progress, they have made huge strides in innovation.
To see all the new product we have been working on during this pandemic, click here. The world is transforming, and the style of travel that is evolving towards is where Big Five has been for 15 years, eagerly awaiting your arrival.
There are also invisible headwinds that face us, and that is where I am proud of our advisor partners and honored to help them, as a fellow business owner and trade partner. When I left the finance world in 2002, I wondered how the knowledge gained from that experience and that of my university classmates, some of whom still work at the largest investment banks, would translate to travel.
Big Five began by hedging our currency in house through forward contracts to ensure our clients aren’t subject to wild fluctuations that affect the final price of a journey. It carried on with creating our key economic indicators to try and track movement of an industry that doesn’t fit into one segment. Travel isn’t tracked accurately by any of the major economists because it doesn’t fit comfortably into a segment. Nor does it always follow a typical economic cycle when external factors impede travel. Then add a pandemic, an upcoming election, a polarizing debate of economics versus public safety, and it makes your head start spinning.
We developed a multi-part series on the economics of a recovery to help remove the noise from the math so our advisor partners and fellow business owners can separate spin from reality. Delivered every month, each segment helps track the way down and, more importantly, the way back up.
Not every bit of news is rosy, and some of it may be difficult to hear, however, in a world where the only things you have control over is action and attitude, entering each phase with both eyes open is paramount. Parts 1 through 3 can be found here and you can see Part 4 by clicking on image above. I know that economics books put many people to sleep, so these segments are designed to break down the important indicators to show you what you need to know in a manner that can be absorbed, and more importantly, applied.
As I wrote this blog, I thought a lot about Plato and his book The Republic, and more specifically, his allegory of the cave. These sessions are about getting you to turn around and look at the fire and face it head on. The shadow of the fire doesn’t make it burn any cooler, the power to turn around and face this fire head on has been inside each of you all along.
No Gimmicks isn’t a policy, it’s our way of doing business.