The quick spread of the coronavirus has made many of us feel vulnerable, overwhelmed and anxious. We hear stories daily about how it has quickly spread and the ages of the people it has impacted. We turn on the news or radio and get updates daily about what our federal and local governments are doing to face all of this. Like us, you might be feeling worried one moment and ok the next. You might be feeling angry or stressed or just simply going with the flow and trying to be positive. It’s all valid. And in many industries here in the U.S. (and across the world), business owners are especially upset. Business owners who are service providers and retailers are feeling the depth of the impact. This includes restaurants, beauty salons, nail spas, indoor play spaces for kids, and of course, travel agencies. Many people have asked amidst all of this is, “How can I help?” For many business types, just purchasing a gift card can go a long way to help a business out. But for the travel industry the biggest help you can give is to postpone your trip versus cancelling it. Read on to learn how postponing is the deepest form of help you could give.
When it comes to travel, there are so many players involved in making sure you have a wonderful trip. There’s the travel agent who books your trip, the flight attendant who welcomes you on your flight, and the staff at your hotel or resort who take care of you. There are the staff who keep the airport clean, the TSA staff and security guards, and those who work in the restaurants at the airport. There are entire towns and cities who rely heavily on tourism to keep them afloat, too. Street vendors, tour guides, and owners of tourist sites welcome the influx of tourist traffic as the primary way they earn a living. The entire tourism supply chain suffers when people choose to get refunds on their trips now versus adjust their dates and traveling later on.
To take this a step further, let’s look at a simple scenario. Imagine you had booked a trip to a resort for one week next month to Cancun. But now, you’ve decided to cancel. Here’s what happens behind the scenes. The travel agent you used now earns nothing for the transaction. That’s because travel agents don’t get paid until you actually take your trip. And the airline you were going to use, the resort you were going to stay at will also lose out. That also means less money now available to pay staff for each of these entities. But just as difficult is that behind the scenes the hotel and resort operators have now lost bookings so they have to rearrange things and make adjustments that can at times take time. And if you booked any entertainment for your stay or had planned on it (for example, a massage at the spa or a tour guide to take you to the local sites), those people will also now lose out. You might think that one booking might not have this much of an impact but unfortunately it does. And with so many people considering on doing this at once, it puts a strain on the entire travel and tourism industry that leads many businesses to consider bankruptcy.
Small businesses have helped shaped the United States in incredible ways. They contribute to communities and local economies not just through their offerings but also through generous charity programs. They help attract people to cities and towns that in turn grow even more so for it. They offer employment and in doing so help workforces gain experience and therefore even more value. It’s really true: We’re all in this together because we are all impacted together.
This pandemic has shown us all how much we need each other and how our simple day-to-day choices help shape the great country we get to enjoy and celebrate. Let’s show our support for those who take care of us to ensure that we have a great time on our trips. The travel industry is committed to being there for you and we hope you’ll support all of us by choosing to postpone, not cancel.