When you work with words, it’s an occupational hazard to choose them with the utmost care and a great deal of thought. After all, the right word can make all the difference between evoking a certain emotion or feeling, and conveying just the right sentiment.
In the past year, we’ve repeatedly heard a handful of words to describe the severity of the effects of the pandemic — unprecedented, devastating, tumultuous and challenging are only a few of the words we’ve heard ad nauseum. We’ve also been inundated by the overuse of key words such as pivot, re-set, re-build, re-structure and evolve.
But now, almost two years into a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc, individuals and industries are craving to move forward with a plan to re-build themselves and the industry. Where to start and what to focus on are a few questions we need to ask ourselves.
As a recent article in Inc. magazine suggests, a good exercise to undertake at the start of every year is to focus on a word that will serve as a guiding principle for the year ahead. For those looking to attain more balance in their lives, for example, they might zero in on words such as calm, relaxation or meditation. But which word would you choose in your professional lives to focus on in 2022? Certainly, Recovery — with a capital R — comes to mind as a key word the entire industry will focus on this year. But you will need to dig deeper to determine what will fuel the recovery.
Certainly, the hotel industry has undergone an avalanche of change in the past year, as hotels have been among the hardest-hit industries in the world and, now with new variants surging, the reality is that tourism will be under siege for the long term. The work at hand is mammoth and will require intestinal fortitude.
As a message from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario recently stated, the “stakes for our industry have never been higher: Two years into the pandemic, saddled with increasing levels of debts, increased fixed costs and non-existent revenues, our industry has had period of re-opening — but never recovery. That’s why we remain relentless in our pursuit for continued economic supports and to fix programs that don’t meet the needs of our industry.”
That will be the ongoing focus for associations that advocate on behalf of the industry. But while they solider on with this important work, hopefully pushing government to continue to provide the essential supports the industry so desperately needs to survive, operators will need to work harder than ever to re-build and re-make themselves in innovative and creative ways to ensure success once the pandemic is finally over — whenever that may be.