Someone Throw Us a Dinghy

katherine Whitely Timbuktu, Machu Picchu, Petra and Katmandu. Remember those exotic places we used to send clients? They are still there, and the travel industry is dead in the water. The wind is out of our sails and the handwriting is on the wall. 9/11, war, SARS, the economy and whatever else has

By: katherine Whitely

Timbuktu, Machu Picchu, Petra and Katmandu. Remember those exotic places we used to send clients?

They are still there, and the travel industry is dead in the water. The wind is out of our sails and the handwriting is on the wall.

9/11, war, SARS, the economy and whatever else has brought the travel industry to a screeching halt.

We, the dedicated, committed travel agent and tourism industry, have to find a way to jump-start traveling again.

Remember the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson? It was a short story on being ready when the “cheese” is gone and you have to move on to the next “cheese station.”

The more time it takes to get off your/our duff (hem and haw, whine, wait for the government to bail us out) and make it happen, the less cheese (money, mortgage, college funds) is left.

In layman’s terms ... someone throw us a dinghy!

As I sat by my pool in my remortgaged condo in Southern California unemployed, or early retired you might call it, I think and dream of ways to stimulate my personal 30-year tour-contracting destiny.

So why not run it by all my colleagues in the same boat in the travel industry? Airlines, hotels, tour operators, land operators, cruise lines and Internet Web sites, you all need us.

In this standoff, however, we are all losing out and stuck at “Cheese Station C.” If the airlines were willing to support us by sending us (comp) to the farthest destinations on the planet, and if the hotels supported us with (comp) rooms at those farthest destinations, and the land operators supported us with (comp tour options) at those destinations, we as travel agents, tour directors, frontline people and the whole of the travel industry, may just profit from the joint endeavor to prove that the planet is now safe to move about.

All travel agents need to get out and on that airplane and stay at that hotel and take those tours and cruises through the world’s cities and countrysides. Let’s get the adventurers back to the Himalayas, the exotic ruins of the world, the Spice Islands and waiting in airline departure lounges worldwide.

We have a whole planet out there. I’ll take that travel challenge any day, anywhere, anytime.

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