What Now For the Travel Industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic has, as we all know, turned the world
upside-down. The way we interact with other people, one of the
most basic yet fundamental traits of humankind, has been massively
disrupted. Economies have floundered. How we work has had to be
completely re-thought. And modern travel, those multi billion-dollar
myriad of threads that for so long have intertwined around the
world, is fighting to establish how best to survive, let alone move
forward post-pandemic. Which raises huge questions in itself –
should an intrinsically racist travel industry even be allowed to make
a comeback after the pandemic? Or is there actually a compelling
argument for socializing travel for the benefit of all humankind?
The majority of humans are non-white people of color.
Unsurprisingly, despite their minority status, the travel industry
remains in the clutches of an elite white cabal. That simply cannot
continue. One of the few upsides of COVID, even though that
sounds somewhat bizarre, is that the whole world is going to have to
fundamentally re-assess how it operates. The travel industry is
certainly no exception.
The old adage that travel broadens the mind has never been truer
than now. Not only that, it enhances understanding and promotes
solidarity among peoples irrespective of skin color, religion, culture,
sexuality or any other arbitrary factor. Flying in the face of that
have been both Trumpism and Brexit. Both are insular, inward
looking and the antithesis of the urge to and benefit of travel.
Travel and interacting with other people beyond artificial borders
and walls are key to greater human understanding of one another and
the world. The pursuit of travel is then a noble thing. However, the
pursuit of profit and cartel status of the industry, as practiced by
the current global corporate “leaders” in travel, is absolutely the
opposite of being noble.
Anything of fundamental human worth should belong to the people
and not to profit-makers. Social security, roads, libraries, parks,
monuments, sidewalks, air-traffic control, heck even the police and
the military are publicly funded entities (sorry right-wingers, but
that’s the fact of the matter whether you like it or not). Of course,
the US should have publicly owned health-care and higher education,
but those are subjects for another day.
After the potent mix of a pandemic, Trump and Brexit, it should
then be self-evident that tourism needs to be completely overhauled
so as to run on a publicly-owned, not for profit fashion. More than
ever before, travel needs to be available for the many and not the
few, allowing for greater global experience and awareness. Tourism
should not consist of predominantly wealthy white travelers taking