Monday Musings 20 July: Open a new window, and look at all the things you still have

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If you’ve ever been stuck in peak Joburg traffic, you’ll know it’s utterly miserable.

But, if you’ve ever flown into the city and seen it lit-up from above, you’ll have noticed how from a different perspective, it can suddenly seem almost beautiful and serene. We call one a traffic jam, the other a light show. Same thing, different perspective.

diffrent perspective

Take Window Swap as another example, where we can see views from different locales around the world right from inside people’s homes and out their windows. From babbling brooks in Bavaria, sunsets in São Paulo and a rainy New York from 20 floors up, no two views are ever alike, even when they’re filmed in the same place.

Things are rough right now, and that’s not your fault, but what will you choose to do? Will you choose to focus on all the ways this has been a disaster? Or will you choose to open a new window, and look at all the things you still have and still can do?

Change your perspective

Safari Vehicle

As we all know, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) regulations issued an extension of the outright ban on all leisure travel, which includes overnight holiday stays.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis from which “many tourism businesses will not recover”, but despite this, local initiatives (like this petition) have been initiated across the country to ensure the Tourism Sector will not be forgotten.

From impactful videos, like this one from Rhino Africa, calling for a re-opening of tourism, to this organised protest by the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) this Wednesday, 22 July. Proactive businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector have also launched their own online petition calling on their insurance providers to pay out on their business interruption claims

During these dark times, we can focus on our lack of agency in what has happened, or we can focus on what we can control, which is how we respond. This rings true with the particularly inspiring act last week of the peaceful protest on wheels from White River to the Government buildings in Nelspruit, which was backed by an army of khaki-clad rangers and some 60 tourism vehicles.

Over in the Garden Province, Durban business leaders are fighting the urge to quit, calling for the re-opening of provincial borders for leisure travel. Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) tourism forum chairman John Aritho, said that opening provincial borders would provide a boost to the sector’s recovery plan, adding that unlike Cape Town, which relied on 70 to 80% international travel, Durban depends largely on domestic tourists.

Back innie Kaap, the Western Cape premier Alan Winde responded to the booze ban – warning 100,000 tourism jobs could be lost. But, while breweries, distilleries and wineries can’t sell their products in South Africa, they’re still allowed to export, and the industry is calling on people to support their new campaign on social media with the hashtag #drinksouthafrican.

Here are a few links for wine-aficionados to show their support.

A view of the rest of the world

The Maldives has now re-opened its borders while Kenya has announced that local air travel will resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020. Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has also implemented a reduction in park entry fees from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

India has launched its first set of international travel bubbles, where destinations open their borders to each other’s citizens and restore tourism – sort of a COVID-safe bloc. The initial countries on the list are the US and France, with Germany coming next and the UK soon after.

Young adult hostel-goers are often characterised by their spunk, sense of adventure – and optimism. A new survey of more than 6,000 of them from around the world post lockdown confirms that: 64% said they have already started planning their next trip, and 61% said they’d be willing to visit countries that have been particularly affected by the pandemic.

Last week, Heathrow Airport announced new coronavirus safety measures including a UV cleaning robot, and over in the land of ponies and volcanoes, Icelandic people are doing marketing right. With their #LetItOutIceland campaign where you can channel your inner Bjork, record your scream from anywhere in the world and they’ll release it out over the countryside.

It also turns out that Naomi Campbell was tapping into a very real consumer sentiment back in March when she posted a photo on Instagram of herself wearing a white hazmat suit…well, don’t be surprised if you see the hospital-grade air-purifying BioVYZR on both the airport and fashion runways.

Walk a mile in her shoes: #IAMTOURISM

Stats SA Graph

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) was compiled by 30 social science researchers and published last Wednesday. The survey found that at least 3 million South Africans lost their jobs during lockdown between February and April, two million of whom were disadvantaged black women, and only 35% women are receiving the COVID-19 stress relief grant.

With women’s month fast approaching, the ladies have had enough.

Our very own Natalia Rosa who took to LinkedIn and mapped out 5 things we all can do right now to respond with purpose and not react emotionally, and with women making up over 70% of South Africa’s tourism sector, the message is also clear from the South Africa is Travel Ready initiative: I Am Tourism.

#Iamtourism

They are currently calling on all women to submit one image of themselves (your colleagues in tourism whether you’re a business owner, a staff member, anyone who is a woman in tourism who derives her livelihood from tourism) showing the message of #IAMTOURISM. A simple act on a grand scale to get the attention of our government, and of the world.

The target is 3,000 images by Women’s Day, 9 August. Here’s an example for you to see and if you submit one you agree for the image to be used in social media and media.

You can email iamtourism.za@gmail.com with your image attached or WhatsApp it directly to +27 61 354 3286.

As we enter a new week, how are you going to look at things? Will you choose to be miserable or awed? Will you choose to sit around and wait for things to get back to normal or make the most of every second of every day?

Remember, it’s up to you. It’s always up to you.

Stay safe & strong!

The Big Ambitions team

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