Monday Musings 13 July: When life gives you lemons

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More than 100 days after we first went into lockdown and the lemons are piling up. As we buckle down for another tough month, perhaps the toughest yet, the one thing we must hold on to more firmly than ever, is our hope.

So, in the interest of seeing the jar half full, the silver lining on that monstrous storm cloud and above all, making lemonade out of our lemons, welcome to our feel-good, freshly-squeezed edition of Monday Musings.

We see you, lemons

Here’s a roundup of the current state of affairs: 

Our President’s speech last night was sobering.

lemons

Leisure overnight stays are banned. The Tourism Ministry has updated legislation to reflect that travel within provinces (intra-provincial travel) is, now, not allowed.

Load shedding was back with a Stage 2 vengeance on Friday and likely to continue throughout the week.

IATA’s traveller survey reveals COVID-19 concerns.

South Africa prepares to welcome the world again, after countless sleepless nights and  enormous effort to develop and put in place the stringent health and safety protocols to de-risk the travel and tourism industry.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says more than
R68 bn in tourism spend has been lost
since South Africa’s national lockdown began at the end of March.

If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. We’re not alone. It’s time to say I’m struggling and it’s ok. Let’s not be afraid to ask for help during this challenging time.

If you need some help tackling those fears head on, this Tim Ferriss fear-setting document may prove helpful.

Taking on this advice: we are going to soon need your support. The #IAmTourism campaign will be launching soon and your voice is needed.

lemons

We need your travel and tourism stories. We need to share the faces and hearts of our people. Our tourism women.

Watch this space.

Making lemonade

In a perfect example of making lemonade in lemon season, Paris is opening a floating cinema on the Seine. The ‘Cinéma sur l’Eau’ will open on 18 July allowing a limited number of Parisians to enjoy a movie from a socially distanced rowboat or to grab a first come, first served seat on land to catch the show. Just when you thought the City of Lights couldn’t get any more romantic, once again, Paris has charmed our socks off.

lemons

As for the rest of the world, the New York Times asks what will it take to reopen the world to travel? The answer? “Above all, it’s trust. Countries are rebuilding relationships under enormous economic pressure, while keeping a wary eye on a virus that’s not going away soon.”

Parts of the world are starting to do just that: rebuilding trust, carefully and methodically.  

Dubai hotel operators are cautiously optimistic as the country opened to tourists on Tuesday, 7 July, as Jumeirah Group CCO, Alexander Lee, explained that “within the first week since it (the reopening) was confirmed, online bookings have doubled in terms of planned stays versus the previous weeks.”

Britons can visit 75 destinations from Friday, 10 July as quarantine rules ease, without facing a 14-day quarantine after their summer holiday.

On 15 July, the Maldives is reopening and, yes, even Americans are allowed.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania opened their borders to each other from as early as 15 May.

The Trans-Tasman bubble could start with ‘safe’ Australian states, says New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, with experts citing technology as the key to ensuring tourism bubbles don’t ‘pop‘.

Barbados, a country which sees 40 per cent of its GDP come from the tourism industry, is considering offering 12-month visas to remote workers who want to ‘work from home’ (in paradise) for a year.

Almost half of Aussies are planning a domestic getaway in 2020.

If you can’t get a cosy weekend getaway out of your mind but are thinking you’ve seen all your province has to offer, think again. Business Insider trawled TripAdvisor for the top-ranking and under-the-radar attractions in each province and came up with this list of cabin-fever beating gems.

In the world of content, marketing and communication, now is the time (more than ever) to think context before content. Never afraid to say it (exactly) as it is, and with a whole lot more up their sleeve than just flame-grilled peri-peri chicken, Nando’s content succeeds because they understand the power of context in the world of content. Simply put, they understand South Africans and speak to them as South Africans.

lemons

Let’s not forget the basics. Behind every memorable campaign, relationship and fuzzy feel-good vibes, is one simple thing. A good story. Many a favourite Game of Thrones character, Tyrion Lannister, summed it up like this: “What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.

lemons

Here’s the brain science behind the power of stories – how they connect and persuade us.

Your brain waves start to synchronise with those of the storyteller when listening and reading. Your brain automatically shifts to try to put itself in the shoes of the other person. And Seth Godin, short and sharp as always, cuts straight to the chase. Take good notes. “Sometimes, we get the chance to hear about someone else’s experience. In those moments, it’s tempting to use the opportunity to explain a situation, to excuse or even to persuade.

Perhaps it pays to simply take good notes.”

We’re also celebrating the small wins.

On Wednesday last week, South Africa is Travel Ready co-hosted a #TravelChatSA with @TravelChatSA on Twitter around how we can stay ahead of the curve as an industry. If you haven’t already, make sure you like the Facebook page so as not to miss out on future conversations.

Did you know July is World Ranger Month? Game rangers across Africa serve on the frontlines to protect and conserve our wildlife and communities, but who supports them doing this dangerous job? The Ranger Project was established to ensure that Africa’s rangers have access to medical funds and other support they and their families need in case of injury. The project is calling for donations, for less than R2 a day. Check out details of the Ranger Project here and share on social media to help them get traction.

If you’re in need of more feel-good vibes, take a virtual amble over to https://www.goodthingsguy.com/ for only good stories to warm your heart.

Don’t forget the positive changes you’ve made either. They may not immediately spring to mind, but chances are you have developed at least one good habit in lockdown. Are you maintaining your pre-9am neighbourhood walk? Home to read the kids a bedtime story every night? Or have you become exceptionally good at adapting to change? Pivoted your business on its head? Kept your employees afloat and team morale up? Bounced out of a negative mindset spiral quicker? Celebrate the small wins. The New York Times shares how we can keep these good habits post lockdown.

7 feel-good stories that made us smile last week:

  1. A Nasa astronaut shares stunning aerial pictures of Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
  2. Remember Christmas in July? A mom of two’s Facebook post has gone viral sharing the most magical way to explain to growing-up kids about Santa.
  3. Gondwana’s Kwena Lodge celebrated their 10 year anniversary in this creative video
  4. Our very own, Siya Kolisi gets a nod as most influential person in world rugby.
  5. ‘Heroes on Bikes’ has changed the lives of 20 essential workers in the Western Cape. Read founder Sindile Mavundla’s story here. He is just one of the thousands of South African heroes sharing hope.
  6. TravelTunesDay! SA is Travel Ready asked for your favourite local road trip song. The nominations are coming in fast and furious, with enough local (and international) recommendations to create two playlists. Keep them coming.
  7. Ever seen a beaver kit? This little guy was rescued in Canada this week. You’re welcome. Plus, dancing robots replaced fans at Japanese baseball game.

Here’s to keeping hope alive. And if all else fails, when life gives you lemons, grab the tequila and salt.

Stay safe and strong!
The Big Ambitions team

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