Photo by Nick Wong

“It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”
-The Twilight Zone, TV Series

In recent months the world’s eyes have been focused on a silent killer called COVID-19. As we feverishly worked to stave off the damaging results of its wrath, our economic and social worlds have collapsed right before our very eyes. For hotels, which focus on hospitality and pride themselves on providing high levels of customer service, along various touch-points, the stark reality has been brutal. With travel restrictions the order of the day and many hotels closed around the globe, the industry has been decimated.
Now, as we slowly pick up the pieces and move gingerly towards recovery, our energies will be spent on finding new and creative ways to help us re-coup lost business, while re-inventing the business to incorporate physical distancing and provide contactless service. Understandably, the industry is anxious to get back to normal.

But, as much as we’ve all longed to return to some semblance of normalcy, moving forward there is no more normal. With
a vaccine not expected for at least another year or two, the industry will be forced to live in this state of limbo for quite some time. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown it created has shown us how just how quickly our lives can change, how vulnerable we are to outside forces and how quickly we need to morph, adapt and evolve if we are to survive in a world that continues to become more complex, challenging and chaotic.

Indeed, we are living through a defining moment in history fuelled by the pandemic, as well as political, economic and social strife, witnessed by the widespread anti-racism protests waged in past months, sparked by the death of American George Floyd at the hands of police. While at times it may feel as though we’ve been living in the “twilight zone,” this unprecedented crisis can gain meaning and purpose if we use it as an opportunity to make substantive changes in our personal and professional lives, but, more importantly, in how we function as a society. After all, if we truly are honest, we will acknowledge that normal hasn’t really been working on many fronts for a very long time. As we move forward, let’s not waste the lessons learned from this crisis but rather build on the momentum of change to help us create not only a better industry, but also a better and more equitable world.

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