Preparing for the Worst

Kenneth Shapiro We had been planning this issue’s cover story, “When It All Goes Wrong” (page 14), for months, yet as we go to press, it could hardly seem more timely. Hurricane Katrina and its horrible aftermath underscores the importance of the story’s message: Planning for the things that can go wrong

By: Kenneth Shapiro

We had been planning this issue’s cover story, “When It All Goes Wrong” (page 14), for months, yet as we go to press, it could hardly seem more timely. Hurricane Katrina and its horrible aftermath underscores the importance of the story’s message: Planning for the things that can go wrong in a client’s trip is a crucial function of today’s agent.

It’s a simple fact that the more an agent watches out for his or her client, the better the client feels about the service provided. If something serious should happen during a trip, the agent who is prepared and assists the client will have a loyal customer and, in all likelihood, a friend for life. The agent that drops the ball in a crisis will likely lose the client and everyone that client knows, and may even face legal action. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

As events continue to unfold in New Orleans and elsewhere in the region, TravelAge West will do its best to keep you up to date. (See page 50 for a special report on the disaster, and currently on TravelAgeWest.com we are featuring an online resource guide.)

Also, I thought I would share with you an e-mail sent to the Society of American Travel Writers by Laura Claverie, who works in media relations for the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Like many publications, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Claverie over the years as we put together our stories.

“The last 10 days have changed me forever,” she writes. “We’re pretty sure our home survived&.Most important: our family not only survived, but grew closer each day&.My family and all of our friends will move back to the city as soon as we can, and we will rebuild the place. The French Quarter, Central Business District, Garden District and Uptown survived&.We’ll clean up, fix up and do the place proud.”

Claverie’s determination represents the best of New Orleans, and as the waters recede and the rebuilding begins, I am confident that this great city’s character will shine again before too long. K.S.
 

>