I must admit that the past month or so has been a tough journey for my business. Six weeks ago I was on a beach, and the chaos had not started. I had travelled down to perform some site inspections as I had a wedding that to happen a month later. I wanted to ensure things would flow smoothly for my bride, as well as take advantage of that time to inspect other resorts in the area.
We were relaxing on the beach when I recall others around us talking of the crisis looming back home. I hadn't been a slave to social media at this point since I was trying to be very present in the moment. I went online and remember reading that my hometown in Lethbridge was facing a 'toilet paper shortage' and wondering what all that was about, as my current surroundings were very peaceful and serene with no sign of what was to come. I reached out to several clients and advised I would be home in two days, but was on top of things from where I was at. I had very little expectation as to what I was coming home to but had a feeling it would be a LOT of work! That was an understatement - I have no words what we as agents have been advocating for you our clients, and the frustration with little information we were given. With policies being given one day and changing the next, juggling numerous files with the same attention to detail and accuracy as we do when we create them. This world was ever-changing.
What I found most shocking was I had not anticipated the emotional connection to each and every itinerary we had planned together. I had hoped you would get to experience our plans - from the very beginning down to the last detail. These were family vacations people had saved years for, a wedding that was dreamed about and planned so very carefully for every detail to be perfect, the honeymoon one would always remember, milestone anniversaries you can never get back, school tours abroad with classmates that will never again be captured at that age for those specific people, visiting elderly family members, work conferences, and it goes on. Each client and their wishes for the perfect vacation or trip being undone so quickly, with each cancellation it seemed to dig a little deeper.
These are incredibly difficult times for the travel industry and the world alike, and the effects may be long lasting. I know for certain there is no other career I have felt so at home with, and there is no greater passion for me.
I have learned that while we are trained to prepare our clients for the unknown, one could never had predicted this. The incredible words of support and encouragement will be what keep me going, knowing our work will one day allow you to see those beautiful places, experience those moments. Its quite a story for you until that day, but it will come.
Thank you to ALL my clients during this time and I truly look forward to working with you all once this passes.