There are still many questions to answer, but the industry is on track for recovery and should focus on the positives, says RB Collection director Oliver Broad

I woke last Friday at 5.30am to my own traffic light system following the Global Travel Taskforce report, published overnight ready for a frantic Friday!

First, I saw green – amazing! The report is out early – how exciting. Then amber – hang on, erm… how will this work? Finally came red – ‘I’m a Travel Agent, Get me Out of Here!’

Too early in the morning to fully focus, too late and too much confusion to get back to sleep for an hour. All I could think of was how they will publish the green list with about two weeks’ notice before they expect holidays to start. Then came the concern over collecting balances and whether we will have enough hours in the day and hands on deck to deal with all of this mess.

Not wanting to get too stressed out, I thought practically for a moment. Now we have a system, a framework we can all work to and understand. Action is being taken, holidays WILL start – clients CAN get away.

A new colour came to mind. ‘Natural Optimism’ according to the Pantone colour chart, is a lovely shade of light blue. Pantone states: “Anyone can see Natural Optimism over the next few months, just by simply going outside and enjoying the sights of nature.” As red started to creep back into my mind, ‘Natural Optimism’ started to turn purple.

While there are still many answers to come and details to be ironed out, we are such a resilient, talented and resourceful industry that I’m confident we can do this. Our industry can finally restart, and clients can enjoy summer holidays at last.

We also work in one of the most exciting industries in the world. Despite being the most affected by the pandemic according to the ONS, there is still plenty to be excited about that can help lift our spirits, focus our mind, relieve stress and boost our confidence.

Here are a few things that I’m excited about for this summer. Maybe these will help you think about the more positive things or inspire you to create your own list.

  1. Newness – think of all those delayed hotel openings coming up! I’ve got my eye on a few favourites and I’m looking forward to the day I can see them in person. Not to mention new innovations by airlines, destinations, tour companies and restauranteurs. We have lots of new and exciting opportunities which will keep things fresh in our minds and help our clients have the trip of a lifetime!
  2. Breaking bread – I cannot wait to get together with friends at a restaurant and share the perfect bottle of wine, catch up and enjoy some great food. It’s time for someone else to cook for a change!  Why not throw in a perfect view of the Mediterranean to admire between courses.
  3. Rediscovering the Balearics – I returned to Ibiza last September and this summer, with at least two new luxury hotels it’s going to be an exciting year for the White Isle. Majorca is however top of the list as I long for a stroll around orange tree-lined cobbled lanes and scenic drives hunting out what’s new.
  4. Learning new skills – many of us have been forced to learn new skills during the pandemic. Frustrating at the time but now look what extra strings we have to our bow. Home schooling doesn’t have to just be for the little ones.
  5. Admiring the view – I’m one of those flying geeks that loves to stare down at the snow-capped mountains from above. Even better will be to ski down them, so that’s something to look forward to next winter.
  6. Visiting Israel – it’s always been on my must-see list, now it’s nearer the top as surely, we’ll get an air corridor to reflect their amazing vaccination roll out progress!
  7. Sailing British waters – who would have thought the biggest cruise brands would be offering so many opportunities to explore our own back yard? I might leave this one to my fellow MD Nathan as I’m not so great on the water but I’m excited by all the fuss.
  8. Going Dancing! Wow how I miss this. As I write, Barcelona has just held a successful trial of a 5,000 capacity concert with pre-event testing and lots of people finally dancing! It’s going to be endorphin overload when we hit that floor.
  9. Finally celebrating – I’m sure you know someone in your life that put a special event on hold in the last year. Let’s just say I was 39 [again] last November so 2021 is THE big one. Just think how many clients are excited to celebrate with friends and create some special memories – a great opportunity for us all.
  10. Lastly… taking a long, deep breath – I’m probably most excited for the opportunity to take a deep, clear relaxing breath knowing it’s going to be ok. You may not be there yet, but I hope you can be excited for the future, when the time is right for you of course. After all, don’t we work in the most exciting industry in the world?