Pandemics have a history of robbing us of everyday life. The Cyprian Plague in 250 AD lasted approximately 20 years. In 1350, the Black Death took a third of the world’s population. In 1918, as World War I was winding down (which claimed more than 17 million lives), Mother Nature unleashed the deadliest strain of influenza in modern history, taking up to 50 million lives.
There were no cures during these times; control efforts were largely limited to social distancing and quarantines. But, today, we live in a fast-paced world of technology, speeding up preventative measures against disease.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” — Anonymous
Hartsfield-Jackson Leads the Way
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is leading the world by deploying a new, cutting-edge, cloud-based platform technology from a division of Georgia-Pacific for smart restrooms. The KOLO Hygiene product is an innovative new feature that is part of a wirelessly connected facilities management system. It is designed to help monitor, measure and manage day-to-day performance of the airport’s heightened cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices. The technology alerts custodians if restrooms need to be cleaned or restocked with supplies. It is being released this month to meet guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You go, ATL!
Travel Industry Recovery
The travel industry is on its way back, but it will be a long road to recovery. Overall, most experts estimate it will be 2023 before we get back to profitability. Bookit.com, one of the largest online booking engines, did not survive the full month of March, and travelers were left with a great financial burden. Simply posting, “your resort booking has been canceled automatically. … As we are currently unable to process refunds to you, please contact your bank for options available to you as a cardholder.” That’s cruel; sorry I asked you to dance.
Competition Benefits Travelers
Recovery will be fierce. Like swimming with sharks in the Caribbean, only the best will survive. One thing you can count on, competition will be super focused on what is most important to the traveler. America’s free-market nature will create a bigger, better and safer way to travel. It will inspire us to dream again, and to remember how much travel does to renew our minds, bodies and souls. Our mental health depends on it.
By Rocky Salet, contributing writer and owner of Freebird Cruises and All-Inclusive Resorts.