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One thing you learn when you work in the travel industry is how many things can go wrong. It seems like every year there are global crises that have potentially catastrophic consequences for travel. These challenges come in the form of terrorism, disease, natural disasters, political unrest and war — the list goes on — and many agents probably feel like they have seen it all.
But something else you learn from working in travel is how resilient people can be. This is true whether you’re talking about agents, suppliers or consumers. No matter what problems people face, they always find a way to persevere.
In this issue, we focus on a great example of resilience. The cover story, “Renewal and Redemption in Los Cabos” (page 16), takes a look at the way Los Cabos has rebounded since Hurricane Odile just three years ago. This was a destination that was severely battered, with a significant number of properties affected — some completely destroyed — as well as an airport that was left in ruins.
Yet almost as soon as the winds died down, the tourism industry started planning its comeback. Existing properties took the opportunity to renovate and make improvements. New hotel companies saw a chance to move into the market. The Mexican government made long-needed infrastructure improvements, including building a world-class airport. And, even though the destination is now fully back and better than ever, the process continues — with seemingly more hotel rooms coming online every day. It’s an inspiring case study in finding opportunity in even the worst circumstances.
Not surprisingly, international travel once again faces major obstacles. Many of the latest challenges stem from man-made conflicts, which can be just as destructive in their own way. As I watch the problems our industry faces, I take some measure of comfort in the knowledge that there are smart, industrious agents, suppliers and activists that are working hard to keep our industry moving in the right direction.
As we have seen in Cabo, there’s nothing that can’t be overcome together.