We are the lucky ones and in these challenging times we have obligations.
In times of crisis we see the best of mankind through acts of kindness. Sadly though, difficult times often manifest themselves through acts of desperation, even violence. Leaders have a responsibility to communicate a positive path towards a balanced and peaceful life that we are more accustomed to.
Assuming you are employed or dependent on the Vacation Membership Industry to earn your living means that you are all greatly impacted from the Pandemic of COVID-19. Resorts, Hotels, Restaurants, Airlines, Activities, to name a few, all shut down instantly. No one was prepared for this. Thousands of our colleagues are unemployed; tour operators are without guests; usually busy beaches are empty.
But we know that there is a rainbow at the end of this black tunnel. We know that after every world crisis humanity needs to reconnect; it’s simply the way we are created. We know that historically the tourism Industry is one of the quickest to recover as the need for people to escape their day to day routine and their need to spend quality time with their loved ones away from their daily hamster wheel takes precedence over all other obligations.
Therein lies our obligation.
1. Unemployed colleagues
In most cases, Resorts were forced to lay-off valuable front-line personnel. The reality that most countries have a shut-down policy and that no one can travel simply means that many jobs are on hold.
We have an obligation to assist those who are mostly affected. Leaders who morally support and encourage their colleagues confirm the belief that our Industry has not only survived every recent crisis, but always comes out stronger. We will continue to need highly motivated front line and management team members. Not everyone can survive for months without income. Morally and emotionally it can be devastating to not be able to support your loved ones to a standard that was often taken for granted just a few months ago. While staying true to the facts that this Pandemic is real, that it has taken many lives, that it has put the world on hold, the likes of what we have never seen in our lifetime, we know that of all industries, the Vacation Ownership business is one of the first to bounce back. Tourism came back quickly after the Black Monday in 1987; demand for Mexican vacation properties were high immediately following the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico. While the financial crisis in the US in early 2000, and the same in 2008, the boom in Tourism was the first sign of economic resurgence.
Maybe we were not prepared enough.
Nobody believed such a Pandemic would come in our lifetime although it was predicted it could happen. The world was taken by surprise earlier this year when this highly contagious virus was putting the world at risk in ways we have never seen before.
Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, no one is entitled to their own facts. In the USA alone, this invisible to the human eye virus is responsible for deaths now well in the 6 figures, more than anyone could foresee, and we do not yet have a solution or an approved vaccine.