If we were to fight fire with fire, why couldn't we make an epidemic work for us as a region? With the recent pandemic fresh in our minds, we were able to see the impact it had on virtually every aspect of our society - commerce, trade, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, the environment and others.
The tourism sector finally realizes that their locals are also people with spending power, and only now their backs are against the wall try to woo them in to use the products and services they sell. In many cases the locals, many of whom were treated badly before now reject them. It should be a wake up call for an industry that claims to offer hospitality, but only offered hospitality to people with foreign accents and foreign exchange.
Hotels and restaurants clamour for industry recognised accolades of 5 star, green globe, luxury, prestigious, and the like; yet they lost to common touch of how to interact and treat their fellow citizens who work hard and save for vacations only to go overseas since they weren't appreciated in their own domicile. It's for this reason that Staycations may not have enjoyed more success than they could have.
This was a discussion that many shared their thoughts on recently, and they were not complimentary to those who were hospitality practitioners.
What can we do? We have to revamp the mindset of everyone in our countries.
As we learned, those of us who studied hospitality are no longer employed exclusively in tourism. We have gone into many diverse fields within which the what we learned in hospitality now plays an integral part in our careers.