Happy New Year! Woohoo *kiss, kiss* *smooch* Champagne corks popping.

Riding high, making bookings, counting cash and singing Lizzo* loud:

“I do my hair toss, check my nails

Baby, how you feelin’? (Feelin’ good as hell)

Hair toss, check my nails

Baby, how you feelin’? (Feelin’ good as hell)”


 

*cough, cough*

What’s wrong February?

I *cough, cough* don’t know *cough, cough*, I think I picked it up in Wuhan *cough, cough*

It’s probably just a hangover from the good times of late. Don’t worry, have a Vicks Vapour Drop and you’ll be ok to travel”.


 

March marches on, but the soldiers start stumbling.

Like its 80’s slasher movie namesake, Friday 13th hits and starts slashing at the industry. Airports closed. Borders closed. Hotels closed. Shops closed. Passports closed. Industry closed.

While everyone was panic buying toilet paper, the travel industry was stuck in its own nightmare. Like the Wall Street crash of ’29, there was a massive sell off. Sell. Sell. Sell. Cancel. Cancel. Cancel.

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep. The pulse of the industry was working at a heightened rate.

Although everybody was bunkered down in their toilet papered-reinforced forts learning a new language or making dreamcatchers out of unravelled woollen jumpers, the travel agent ventured out into the abandoned streets.

“Must…get…to…the…office. Must…do…cancellations.

Must…save…clients”

The streets were empty. The skies were empty. The coffers were about to be empty.

 

Immediately there was the implementation of Newton’s Third Law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The industry reacts, many *suppliers* do not. (I’m not specifically looking at you, airline industry…ok, I am really looking at you, airline industry)

Due to reading too many “airline waiver T&C’s version 658,463 vol:915”, the industry slips into a mind-numbing coma of cancelations and refunds.

Beeeeep….beep….beep….beeeeep…beep


 

Suddenly, out the front of the agency, an angry mob had gathered brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches. Instead of listening to reason, St Tracey of A’Currentaffair had manipulated her disciples into a frenzy, screaming “where’s my money?”

It was a powerful, heady cocktail of ignorance, impatience and Facebook justice with a dash of entitlement and then shaken for 15 minutes of tv sensationalism fame.

The mighty FC had FCk’d up and instead of staying strong like the powerlifters they were, they turned full acrobatics on us and backflipped like tumbling, somersaulting, twisting gymnast – but not the cool kind that do the jumps and flips on the bars, but the weird kind that twirl a long ribbon on a stick. (I guess it still makes them an Olympian)  

There was blood on the battlefield and bodies were strewn all over the industry. The industry was wounded. The industry was now bleeding.

“Quick get a band-aid”

beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

“We’re losing it!”

Stabs the Epipen straight into the heart and injects a government stimulus package.

Beep…beep…beep…beep

“Ok, we have a pulse.”


 

Its now Aprilyjunejuary. The days have blended into weeks which have blurred into months.

More cancellations and refunds.

Beep…beep…beep…beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

More cancellations and refunds.

“Oh no, the travel industry is flatlining”

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

More cancellations and refunds.

“We’re losing them”

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

More cancellations and refunds.

Performing CPR to the ironic tune of “ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive”

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

More cancellations and refunds.

“Quick, fire up the Jobkeeper”

“Stand back. Clear!”

Zap!

Beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep……

“Ok, there’s a faint pulse”


 

I’m pretty sure it’s now the month of Julygustember

Borders are open. There is a “green shoot” of a domestic-led recovery.

The industry pulse is erratic.

Beep………..beep……beep..beep………..beep…..beep…………..beep…beep

Victoria gets sick and Roundup is poured all over the green shoots.

Borders close. The green shoots turn out to be just weeds.

The pulse slows again. Beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep…………..beep

“Well, we cant keep them here as we need the ICU beds for really sick industries”

Injects a shot of diluted mid-strength Jobkeeper. “It’s all we’ve got”

Beep…………..……..beep……………………..beep………………….…..beep……………..……..beep…………..……..beep

“Is it strong enough to send them back to long, gruelling, monotonous, revenue-negative days of refunding?”

Beep……………..…..……..beep……………….…………..beep……………………….…..beep……………..……..beep………………..…….

“Yes”


 

And that is how the industry ended up being the great “undead”, destined to wander the travel wasteland.

The industry cannot die. It can’t, even if it wanted to. There is still too much (unpaid) work to do.

Some may have to seek refuge to rest, recover and recuperate so that they can come out to fight another day. Others will sharpen their machetes and oil up the chainsaws (as these are most sure-fire ways of killing a zombie), ready for the battle ahead.

In all good Zombie Apocalypse movies, there is always band of survivors who are left to fight the good fight.

Because, as we all know, there are still refunds to be clawed back for our clients.


At the beginning of the year, the industry may have been singing Lizzo, but now it’s The Cranberries*…

“But you see, its not me

Its not my family

In your head, in your head, they are fighting

With their tanks, and their bombs

And their bombs, and their guns

In your head, in your head, they are crying

 

“In your head, in your head

Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie

What’s in your head, in your head

Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie-ie,

Oh, oh, oh, oh, ”

 

Next episode (if there ever is one) “THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY 2020: DIE ANOTHER DAY”

 

(*Lizzo & The Cranberries words & lyrics are owned their respective copyright owners)

 

 

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The Don’t Forget Travel Group is a boutique travel agency that plans and curates custom-made holidays.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
Contact us through www.dontforgettravel.com.au

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