When I was young in primary school, I use to see convoys of vans branded UTC (United Touring Company), on the side carrying tourists on their way to a place called Mwasungia Scenery to watch Taita traditional dancers performing their local jig. Sometimes they would stop at our local shopping centre and provide us with learning materials like pencils, rubbers, crayons and any other writing material in their procession. I admired the guides and by age 13 years when I was leaving primary for secondary education I made up my mind that one day I would become a tour guide to drive the tourists around.
Little did I know I will grow to proudly work for multinational DMC’s in senior positions like UTC (United Touring Company), ALPHA – Pollmans Tours & Safaris, KUONI Private Safaris, and KOBO Safaris.
Today, in addition to running a successful business called Inclusive Holidays Africa, my long-term vision is giving form and structure to the main East and Southern Africa tourism industry and helping the industry in my small contribution, get its due recognition by writing short blogs about events in East and Southern Africa
We must first of all accept it is becoming more clear that travel will be most doubtful for the remainder of this year. Plus, governments of our major markets overseas are advising their citizens against travel for up to 18 months. This means we cannot even discuss about postponing trips, since they won’t be allowed to travel next year as well.
We should therefore focus our attention to 2021 and beyond. I think we should put major advertising campaigns in place to remind would-be travelers about holiday destinations. Special offers and virtual tours may entice people to start dreaming again.
If what I watched on CNN regarding the opening up of Florida Beach and the stimulus programs being offered by a few countries is anything to go by, then I am inclined to think that a most of people will be wanting to travel immediately the lockdown is over. It may not be long-haul travel, but local travel will be flooded because a lot of people are not very comfortable with the lockdown, me included. I feel my freedom has been interfered with and cannot wait to start moving freely again.