The Triptych of Respect and the Emotional Intelligence of Travel
By Renato Fantoni Director, HPS Hotel Reservations | July 05, 2020
In addition to global grief and lockdowns, Coronavirus has triggered conflict between clients and suppliers. To progress beyond this crisis, a new form of mutual respect is required and this can be done with a long overdue appreciation of a key third party; Emotional Intelligence of Travel.
Since its inception in the 19th Century, the travel industry has continued to evolve. Starting as an activity for a select handful of privileged people, travel developed into a universal aspect of day-to-day life. People were set in motion and have been departing and arriving, going from place to place and station to station ever since.
The human instinct to explore dates back to pre-history when homo sapiens expanded their modus operandi from hunting and gathering to farming, they sought out new pastures with safe living opportunities. They then began settling into permanent conurbations and the need to move around was replaced with the desire to do it. The human mind and emotions kicked in and the hitherto search for food or a new home had morphed into a short-term round trip that fed the mind and the soul instead of the stomach.
However, mirroring this continuous human hunger for the return trip, are the significant challenges facing the very service providers that create the infrastructure for the visitor economy to exist. Coronavirus has thrown up many issues, yet one that the media and public have not dared acknowledge, is the likelihood that many nodes of this infrastructure will cease to exist. Hotels, resorts, transporters and a variety of specialist agents will have been condensed and customer choice will almost certainly be reduced.
I am based in the UK where for a number of years consumer rights and protections have grown massively and the travel industry has since day one of C19, become the battle ground between consumers wanting all their monies returned and hoteliers around the world needing these deposits to support their businesses.?Hotel people know the adage that an empty hotel room rots quicker than a once fresh fish, however, the public (and certainly in the UK the press) seem blissfully unaware that rotted rooms eventually turn to rubble.
Each traveller goes away expecting to gain something from the journey. The business person goes to build relationships and make deals whilst the tourist expects to gain satisfaction from relaxation and pleasurable activities. We do however, have a problem which is that whether or not the traveller's journey results positively, an atmosphere has developed whereby the onus has shifted from them managing their own expectations to lumping an obligation onto providers to come up with this satisfaction.