March 11,2020 is a day few will forget as it was on that day that the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic.
The impact on the travel industry was immediate and harsh – all travellers currently “elsewhere” were advised to return home as soon as possible and the cascade of cancellations for future trips began.
Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, our industry really had no idea how far reaching the tentacles of Covid would extend however it wasn’t long before we began to sense this was no 30 day pause.
I remember being asked how long I thought this ‘bump-in-the-road’ would last, and as I watched things unfold I expressed a concern that much of 2020 could be lost to travel & tourism as there were few signs of optimism in a global situation that was worsening by the hour.
Some felt I was being overly pessimistic and inwardly I hoped they were right.
And so here we are 18 months later.
We’re no longer advising folks to come home as soon as possible.
Mainly because few have actually left home.
That’s not to say they’re not thinking about getting ‘Outta Dodge’.
But thinking and actually doing are two distinctly different actions.
That’s not to say a Winter vacation over the next few months is a lost cause.
For the *savvy traveller* - there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
The key word however is SAVVY.
Long gone are the days when a decision is made on Thursday to take advantage of that last minute getaway to Paradise on Saturday.
For openers there are fewer last minute deals given that the number of available flight/packages have been reduced by at least 50%.
And then there’s the matter of preparatory work to be done prior to jumping into the abyss.
Where prep work used to involve ensuring your passport was valid before tossing a few items into the old Samsonite, these days (depending on your destination) travellers will need to ensure:
-vaccine documentation is current and available to show
-PCR tests have been booked according to the required timeline of the destination country
-required health forms have been completed and uploaded to functioning mobile device
-adequate health insurance to cover Covid related issues is in place
-PCR tests for the return home are actually available at destination and booked within the prescribed time frame
-Government of Canada Arrive-Can app is loaded into said mobile device
And those are the rules of governance as we know them to be……. Today.
They have, can, do and will change.
One that likely won’t change anytime in the near future however has to do with vaccines.
In the absence of evidence that travellers are fully inoculated with both of the required doses – travel, whether international *or* soon to be announced domestic- is unlikely to take place.
Airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and foreign governments are pretty much all on board with requiring proof of vaccine before washing up on their shores.
You don’t have to agree with it – you just need to understand that thus far – it’s an absolute unbending non discretionary requirement.
No Shirt-No Shoes -No Service.
And so for the savvy – there’s hope out there insofar as a Winter break is concerned.
But because the elevator’s out of service – you’ve gotta take the steps.
Because failing to do so is a lot like simply solving PI.
Unless you know the first 3600 digits – you’re hooped.
Adios until next time