I have been thinking deeply about what to write this week. I’m really conscious that what I write today may not be relevant tomorrow. I have days I don’t know what I think. I’ve had quite a few moments when my mind is telling me to stand still, to just step back, de-clutter, do some painting, plant some seeds and wait to pick up this whole tourism thing again once a vaccine is found.
What I know for sure
At the same time, however, I know some things with absolute certainty. I know this crisis will pass at some point. I know the world will travel again and the tourism industry will recover and perhaps lead the regeneration. I know that there will be work for me again and I know it’s an industry I want to stay a part of. I know that I will continue to have financial commitments and a growing family when all this is over. I know I want to contribute to getting the world moving again in the small ways that I can do that.
Because I regard all those things as facts, standing still is simply not an option even if I really want to. I will continue to work on my business at this time. I will do the gym work now so that I am fighting fit when the world starts to move again (metaphorically speaking admittedly!).
Tough times for the bank account
If you too believe that tourism is here for the long-haul and you will be in it when the recovery happens, then I’d like to share this thought. Your financial bank account is taking a real hammering. The advice is to stop everything going out, eliminate any cost you can, hold back on payments to revenue. It’s good advice.
What about your Emotional Bank Account?
The Emotional Bank Account is something different. It is a concept of Steven Covey’s from the best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a metaphor to describe how we build trust in relationships. Covey says that we maintain a personal ‘emotional’ bank account with anyone with whom we have a relationship. The account starts on a neutral balance and then, as with any bank account, we make deposits and withdrawals. We deal with emotional units rather than money. Emotional units are centred around trust. The more deposits we make, the more trust, confidence, respect and fondness grow. Deposits keep us 'in the black'.
We have an opportunity right now to make emotional deposits – most obviously with our own families and communities and crucially for anyone who employs people, with staff and colleagues. That said, it’s also a good time to make deposits with your visitors and prospective visitors, with your trade partners and prospective trade partners, and with other key business stakeholders.
It’s often said that how you behave in times of adversity will define you in the eyes of others.
Build trust and trust by giving reassurance. Your visitors who cancel and postpone will still want to hear from you as they will want to come again. They will want to know that you’re still there, that you’re busy getting ready for recovery. Equally, your trade partners will want to know the same – they will need to feel safe about returning to you. The same applies for influencers, writers, reviewers, funders and many more.
One of the few things you can do right now is build trust and confidence in others. Make deposits through maintaining outward-flowing communication, through providing reassurance and peace of mind to your most important stakeholders. Make deposits by offering to serve where you can, by sharing knowledge and experience and by making connections. The more trust you can build up in your key relationships now, the greater the feeling of safeness you will have in one another when things get moving again.
Tourism will still be here in 2195
I read and shared piece from Tourism Futurist Professor Ian Yeoman, University of Wellington, New Zealand a few weeks ago and this sentence stood out for me at the time:
“Tourism is one of the great industries of the world. It is an industry that will be here in 2195, as we will continue to go on holiday, whereas other industries and services, such as coal-mining, high street banking, the printed media or postal services are simply industries of yesteryear.” (Read the full piece here)
Please visit www.thetourismspace.com to find out about supports we can offer at this time. We are here to help and please contact us if you think we can serve you in any way.