Rebuilding tourismMonday, June 29, 2020
Years before COVID-19 a lady in around her mid-20s was heard saying that she would like to have a foreign man regularly remit money to her without any strings attached. The relationship with our 'global neighbours' will increasingly be desired to be like that young lady's wish. However, this was in a time when money, whether liquid or in credit, was abundant. What shall be emerging is a strained, apprehensive, and suspicion-laden relationship in which the visited will see the visitor as having money, who in turn, not having that money, will try either legitimately or indiscreetly to manipulate this relationship to get the most out of every dollar which he/she already doesn't have.
Throw in the alienation and stigma from recent racial and health issues, and we have a tragedy in the making.
When Warren Buffett, the investment guru of the US, dumps his confidence in the airline industry, a major pillar of the tourism industry, and when Carmen Reinhart, chief economist at the World Bank, calls the pandemic “the last nail in globalisation's coffin”, we should have started shifting the pyramids. Tourism cannot be rebuilt through conventional motives; it has to be done in humility, faith, and truth. It must now become servant to the other local sectors. It must acknowledge our purpose as a people, and it must be “ital”. These soft skills aren't learnt in schools of hospitality, nor from observing how other parts of the world do it; it is done by learning from, and acting accordingly, He who epitomises such, who is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Andre O Sheppy
Norwood, St James
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