If you wrote a letter on April 6, 2025, exactly five years from now, about what happened to the travel industry in these five years of intervention, what would you write in the most hopeful and meaningful version of it? What would your letter say from the future, if you imagine it now?
That is basically the question I asked in my social media feed (Indonesia/Linkedin/Facebook) this weekend and received a lot of responses from people inside and outside the travel industry. You can read the response by clicking the link.
I added my opinion about what the letter contained: “Mine will be about how radical localism is the way the travel industry returns, people are starting to appreciate their rural areas around cities and local small businesses in tourism / hospitality develop as a result.”
Radical localism in everything, not just in travel, something we all do because we cannot travel uniquely adjusted. We know more about our immediate environment for the first time in a long time, especially those of us living in anonymous big cities like New York City. When the world opens again, whenever that happens, the awakening of our immediate and near environment may be a priority. That’s the journey I want to see. We might even see a resurrection America’s Great Journey.
The last three paragraphs of Arundhati Roy’s extraordinary essay at FT over the weekend makes me think like this:
Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for their return to “normality”, trying to sew our future into our past and refuse to acknowledge destruction. But there is rupture. And in the midst of this terrible despair, he gives us the opportunity to rethink the doomsday machine that we have built for ourselves. There is nothing worse than returning to normality.
Historically, pandemics have forced people to break the past and imagine their world again. This one is no different. This is the portal, the gate between one world and the next.
We can choose to walk through it, dragging our dead body of prejudice and hatred, our greed, our data bank and dead ideas, our dead rivers and the smoking sky behind us. Or we can walk lightly, with a little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
This pandemic is a portal for the travel industry, the most important industrial sector in the world, because the world knows in the deafening silence of an earthly planet. What is the new travel world like for us? I would love to hear from you, big and small businesses, especially small ones. I know that many of you travel professionals experience so much hardship and pain, but let’s try and let go of our immediate worries in our heads and bring ourselves the most expansive of what we want to happen from now on.
Send us a quote from the future at [email protected], and we will run the best here at Skift, with your permission of course.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]