By BASIL SPRINGER
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” – Psalm 96: 1-3
Mark Honigsbaum’s “The Pandemic Century – A History of Global Contagion from the Spanish Flu to COVID-19” has been heralded as a timely and informative history book on the market this year, tracing a century of pandemics, with a new chapter on COVID-19.
2020 has been unpredictable, and it has changed everything about the travel industry with (1) the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) the threat of a new strain of the virus; (3) the devastating impact of the pandemic on economies from which Caribbean tourist arrivals are sourced; dampened only by (4) the reality of efficient public health protocols; and (5) the prospect of widespread vaccination to quell the public health storm.
It has been a battle between lives and livelihoods, aggravated by reckless global leadership and the irresponsible human behavior which has been conditioned by the relative comfort so far in the lives of younger generations.
The drivers in the tourism industry’s economic gearing system are the number of tourists who arrive by airlines and cruise ships.
The total consumption expenditure made by visitors during their visits contributes significantly to the GDP of a destination.
Caribbean tourism is very much a public-private partnership.
The public sector-supported Caribbean Tourism Organization’s responsibility is to own, promote, protect, advance, and enhance the Caribbean brand.
Whereas the private sector-led Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) mission is to be one of the world’s leading associations, representing tourism interests known for providing national hotel and tourism associations and members with exceptional value to generate business and advance a sustainable and profitable industry.
In the Caribbean, tourism is our key to the COVID-19 transition and recovery process.
CHTA president Pablo Torres last week predicted the Caribbean will see a return of tourism to the region “faster than many parts of the world”, thanks to the protocols and partnerships implemented throughout the region to help lessen the effects of the pandemic.
The ManOBizTM matrix, a template I developed to facilitate the planning, implementation and monitoring of tourism business systems, can help expedite the systematic recovery and growth process of the tourism industry in the COVID-19 transition and recovery process.
The matrix recognizes the strength of the systems of the human body categorized as foundation, protection, life, growth and sustainability; and maps this into governance, financial security, marketing, operations, and people development business systems.
As we enter the new year, let us recognize the importance of planning and embracing disruptive innovation strategies to systematically, effectively, and sustainably steer the tourism industry out of its current slump. We can do it!