“The reason why I’m saying all this is because I firmly believe that travelling gives us the possibility to become better human beings. Understanding and appreciating foreign cultures makes us kind and compassionate. And while I fully agree that safety should always come first in anything we do, I can’t help but wonder what the future will look like after so many months of closure, isolation and distancing. I have no doubt that we will one day be able to travel again, but I worry that it’ll become more and more difficult to encounter that spark of life I’ve sought and found in so many unthinkable places.”
— Silvia O’Donovan, Travel Daily Media
“The most important thing the industry can do is to tilt the account that it shares about the rest of the earth by a few degrees. So people who live in our part of the world understand the common humanity they share with those who are not like us, don’t look like us and didn’t start life in the same places as us. It’s about telling a tale that says to the traveller, when you venture away from home, you are going somewhere with a different geography but it’s not a different planet where the people are not connected to us. We need to encourage individuals to be more open to the humans they’re connecting with when they’re abroad. Some stories people share with us will feel different, but a lot of them we should recognise. All disruption and dislocation, no matter how unpleasant the cause is, has to be regarded as an opportunity for change. Change doesn’t come about simply by people lamenting it.”
— Trevor Phillips, broadcaster, writer, anti-racism campaigner and former chair of the U.K.’s Equality and Human Rights Commission
“I know how difficult and thankless that kind of work is. I also know what a morale boost it can be to receive a great tip. The way I look at it, an extra few dollars is not something I will even miss, but it might make a huge difference for the person receiving the tip.”
— Ryan Patterson, an over tipper who routinely adds a 25% gratuity to his restaurant bill, “and sometimes as much as 50%, depending on the level of effort expended.”
“This issue is NOT that the industry has been passive in developing health protocols. Quite the contrary. In our view, the hurdle lies with the CDC’s unwillingness to discuss, debate and mutually implement the highest standards of passenger and crew health care. Major cruise operators have established a panel of leading virologists and health policy experts, which has, for many weeks, submitted suggestions for new protocols, with limited interest by the CDC in a two-sided discussion about resuming sailing.”
— Instinet analyst Harry Curtis
“Warren Buffet has a saying, ‘price is what you pay, value is what you get.’ Travel advisors bring value to their clients on a multitude of levels. They bring years of experience, knowledge and connections that the average person could never amass on their own. Their collective reputations are leveraged for their client’s benefit. They quiet the noise, cut through the digital clutter and both save their clients time on frustrating research and while also enhancing the fun part of dreaming. The collaboration with their clients creates personalized experiences in unique destinations because no one ever calls up and says, ‘I want to go where everyone else is going this summer,’ or it allows travelers to see old favorite places in a new way.”
— Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso
“This is not the first time that ships have become Petri dishes for disease. The word “quarantine” is derived from a combination of illness and ships. When the Black Death paralyzed Europe in the 14th century the Venetian trading colony, Ragusa, did not entirely close, allowing new laws for visiting ships (1377). If the ships arrived from places with the plague, they were required to anchor offshore for a month to prove they were not carriers of the disease. The time offshore was extended to 40 days and identified as quarantino, Italian for ’40.’ “
— Dr. Elinor Garely, editor-in-chief at wines.travel
“Recently, I marked 10 years of travel writing feeling uneasy about the state of modern tourism. In part, my idea of foreign places had become infected by the unavoidable backdrop of an angrier, destabilizing world. And while millions still jumped on planes for leisure, I couldn’t shake the creeping sense that so much of what we call travel is extractive, the commodification of someone else’s sunshine, culture and photogenic views. In my most cynical moments, I had started to see travel as something monstrous, a vector of humanity’s infestation that has evolved out of all proportion with what the planet can sustain.”
— Henry Wismayer is a writer based in London. His website is henry-wismayer.com.
“During this extended period of lockdown the world is experiencing, physical travel is indeed rare. Yet being shut in has opened our minds; we’re spending more time in the digital universe than ever, and this digital world is borderless.
Life online has made people aware that we live on a small planet, where most corners are within reach. For example, in 2018, 134 million Chinese traveled overseas. By 2030, perhaps 300 million to 400 million will do so. Even for a seasoned global traveler like me, it’s striking that I have never lived in a houseboat in Kerala, visited Venice or trekked the Grand Canyon. Consider it done in the next five years. I will not be alone.”
— Kishore Mahbubani is the author of Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy (Public Affairs, 2020). He is a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute.
“Our products evolve constantly. We try to always be ahead of the curve; never stuck unchanging in time. When we design our ships, we talk about a design formula of one-third tradition, one-third evolution and one-third revolution. That formula’s worked pretty well for us, and it works in a post-COVID world, too. It doesn’t stick us in the past, but it isn’t a new normal.”
— Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO Richard Fain, venting his spleen over talk of a “new normal” in cruising, arguing that the only normal is change.
“What we’re learning is it’s easy to put a social media post and say you’re aligned with Black Lives Matter or with equity and race and diversity within the industry. But we’re challenging people to look at what people are stating and then look at their track record. … We need to call out people who aren’t participating and aligning with what they are portraying themselves to be.”
— Jason Dunn Sr., chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals and a group vice president with the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau