By Brent Blake
Over the past 14 months, it is the one question I have been asked more times than any other.
Perhaps people did not put it in those terms, but our clients (both business and leisure), suppliers, business partners — even our staff — all wanted to know. When will the pandemic end and what will it look like on the other side? Of course, that was not the only question posed to us. Because those constituents relied on us to help facilitate their success, they also wanted to know if Acendas Travel was going to be around to help in the recovery. After all, travel was hit as hard as any sector. Many agencies were closing up shop or consolidating.
Our initial response last March was:
“We don’t know.”
But what we did pledge was to be communicative, responsive and share what we were hearing and learning about the marketplace. Monthly client zooms, newsletters, staff calls, client meetings, etc. — whatever the audience, we took the opportunity to stay in touch, answer questions and share an evolving story.
As of today, I am happy to say that I believe the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed sunshine. Perhaps right now it is only a tiny ray, but all signs point to positive times ahead. I base that positivity on three elements:
- Vaccines drive down Covid19 cases and drive up confidence — and confidence will drive a return to travel.
- Acendas Travel did not look at the return as merely a restart, rather we looked at it as a rebuild. We developed new processes and technologies. We talked with our clients to determine their needs. Travel has changed and so did we to meet the changes. We are a better company coming out of the pandemic. That does not mean we are better for making staff cuts or losing a client or two along the way. Sadly, that is the unfortunate collateral damage.
- Our relationship as a BCD Travel company serving the small to medium enterprise market gives us the resources to weather storms far greater than we have seen to date.
You might ask: “When will the sunshine be brighter?”
We live in a global economy. Vaccinations will need to continue to ramp up worldwide. Businesses will need to welcome clients and business partners to physical meetings. Travel might not return to previous levels in some time, but we know all business cannot be conducted online and you cannot zoom a vacation. Travel will be a necessity and strong, progressive travel management companies will be valued even more.
So, in a nutshell, we are not going anywhere. In fact, we see our services being more valuable than ever. That is not hyperbole. I humbly say that because it’s what our customers are telling us. We are prepared to meet what we see as a growing need.
That should bring some comfort to us all.