This blog post has been going around in my head for about 4 weeks now and here I finally am. It's fair to say that for those of us who have made a career in tourism, our world completely spun on its axis when the NZ Government announced the closure of the borders and we started to watch what was happening with this virus in China, Italy and then further afield.
Overnight, our revenue dried up - along with a lot of other industries too - and we started to hear new words spring up like 'reimagine', 'lockdown', 'flatten the curve' and 'pivot' alongside the standard 'unprecedented' and the 'team of 5 million'. It's fair to say buzz words have been a bit of a theme for this crisis and it's been pretty amazing to see who quickly they have become part of our everyday vocab (even when you try to avoid them!).
New Zealand's response to Covid-19 has been praised all over the world with our PM Jacinda Ardern frequently featured in publications as a leader who has mastered the art of communicating with her people - and you can't deny, her genuine empathy does resonate well.
Coming back to tourism, the NZ Government's handling of this global pandemic MUST be seen as a positive for those sitting at home itching to jump on a plane and holiday somewhere. Jacinda has put a very human face to New Zealand which will amplify the current perception of how friendly the kiwis are.
Over the next few weeks, I am planning to write a series of blog posts relating to Covid 19. They will touch on domestic tourism, leadership, marketing in a crisis and will no doubt evolve over time. If there is something you'd love to hear about, please let me know. This is a great time for sharing information and ideas as we really need our team of 250,000 tourism employees to come together to rebuild our industry.
In the meantime, I set up a Tourism Facebook page for our industry to provide some support and strength in numbers to tackle some of the big issues. Feel free to take a look here https://www.facebook.com/groups/647725352678015/