Monday Musings 5 July 2021: What are your POVID Predictions?

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Say what? Yes, a new word you may see taking off in the near future is POVID – ‘post-covid.’

The linguistics lovers will be thrilled to discover this new portmanteau. What’s a portmanteau you may rightly ask? In layman’s terms, it’s simply a mish mash of words, sounds or meanings to help us understand something, often a new reality or context in the world we live in. 
Other fabulous portmanteaus, new and old, include Brexit (and Megxit), smog, staycation and other COVID-19 ones such as covidiot (don’t be that person), coronnials and quarantinis (our favourite). 

Wordplay aside, Peter Brindley and Matt Morgan from the BMJ Medical Journal imagine what a ‘povid’ world may look like with their post-covid predictions here

Here are a few povid projections to consider: 
Masks are here to stay 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported less than 1% cases for flu or colds in the past year. The answer according to the medical experts? The dreaded mask.  

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While mask wearing was completely foreign to most South Africans, it’s worth remembering that in other parts of the world, such as many Asian countries, wearing a mask when one is sick is commonplace to prevent the spread of infection.  

More working to live 

Did the pandemic signal the death knell for workaholism? It seems to be a one or the other scenario. Either the pandemic put things into perspective, or work hours increased dramatically (our thoughts are with all those trying desperately to stay afloat in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries). 

Zoom away Zoom 

Love it or hate it, Zoom is here to stay. While the past year and a bit proved that us humans do crave, well, human interaction (good news for the MICE industry), no doubt Zoom is here to stay for interactions that can afford to stay digital, be it for cost or logistical reasons.  

Vaccines are the new norm 

We’ve discussed the expectation of vaccine passports before – and perhaps they’ll become as commonplace as yellow fever cards. 

But we’re now navigating a new minefield – the vaccine minefield. You’re vaccinated and all set now to travel the globe, right? It turns out, the vaccine most widely used in Africa and India isn’t part of Europe’s vaccine passport

The do-it-now bucket list 

The bucket list is now top priority. Those lists of places we wanted to travel and things we wanted to do are expected to no longer gather dust in a long-forgotten diary shelved in a dusty cupboard.  

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Following the old adage that life is for living, experts predict that the world will begin to grab the bull by the horns, not putting off for tomorrow what can be done today.  

For those of us in travel, this is a golden opportunity to tap into making bucket lists become today’s to-do list. And if you need a little more inspiration, meet the 83 year old man who has travelled to every country in the world. 

Travel to the final frontier 

Space travel is jetting ahead. Sir Richard Branson has set 11 July as the date he’ll fly to the edge of space in Virgin Galactic’s Unity rocket plane, while a prototype flying car successfully completed its first test flight between two airports.  

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Sir Richard Branson said: “I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After 17 years of research, engineering and innovation, the new commercial space industry is poised to open the universe to humankind and change the world for good. It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality.” 
If you’re thinking “nah, never” and you’ll stick with selling tickets to the Maldives, you might want to think again. Here’s how space travel is becoming a part of the travel industry. However, expect to cough up $125,000 for a seat in the state-of-the-art space balloon. 

If you need some more help identifying local trends and opportunities, last week’s Tourism Tuesday saw Graeme Codrington share some useful insights on how we can prepare ourselves for pretty much anything and everything. Watch the session on the South Africa is Travel Ready Facebook page.  
Just don’t get too attached to these povid projections. If we have learnt anything over the past year and a half, it’s that we can predict (and hope) all we want … but the chips fall where they may.  

As Brindley and Morgan put it, “predictions are notoriously difficult, especially about the future. Accordingly, it’s often wisest just to hope for the best while bracing for the worst.” 

Mindful Musings

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Marketing Musings 

Does parallel parking fill you with fear? In a very nifty move, Volkswagen Australia tapped into the consumer mindset and marketed a bunch of ‘horror movie posters’ about, you guessed it, parallel parking.  

Cleverly designed to promote the Tiguan’s safety features, notably an I.Q. DRIVE, an intelligent driver assistance system, Volkswagen’s marketing campaign “uses the style of horror movie posters to highlight everyday experiences on the road that can cause drivers to break out into a cold sweat: parallel parking, giant roundabouts, pedestrians and merging onto a four-lane highway.” 

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“The research highlighted what we knew to be true, albeit anecdotally, which is that these little road stresses can quickly creep up to become genuine anxieties and fears,” Volkswagen Australia marketing communications manager Rowena Kanna said in a statement. 

Moving from down under to up north, many in PR are empathising with the PR agency responsible for the stop-start Tokyo Olympics.  

 The Tokyo Olympics is still set to go ahead – scheduled to take place from 23 July to 8 August. 

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What the world was musing over this past week

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Check into Madiba’s home

Bookings opened on July 1st for Sanctuary Mandela – Madiba’s first home in Houghton – which has undergone a makeover into a trendy boutique hotel. 

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Girl power

Some of tourism’s major partners have joined forces with The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, the world’s first all-female ranger unit, tasked with the job of protecting our country’s wildlife.  

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Unvaccinated cruising?

Sure, you can embark on a cruise but here’s how much more you’re likely to pay after Royal Caribbean launched its first ‘unvaccinated cruise.’ Freedom of the Seas set sail from Miami on the first cruise from the U.S. without a vaccine requirement.

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Young tourism entrepreneurs charging ahead

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal celebrated young entrepreneurs in the tourism industry leading the way even in the midst of a pandemic.

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Netflix (and chill) just got a lil cheaper

Netflix has introduced a new Mobile Plan to its users in sub-Saharan Africa – for just R49 a month for tablets or smartphones.