By BRUCE Piper

It’s definitely easier said than done, but focusing on what we can individually control, looking above the “noise” of the day-to-day COVID-19 bad news and taking time out for a bit of exercise each day are some key strategies for surviving the current dark times.

That was some of the sage advice offered by Debra Fox and Susan Haberle during a Travel Community Hub webinar last week, and it certainly resonated.

The pair, both formerly long-time senior APT executives, have undergone their own personal ordeals over the last 18 months, like so many in the industry finding themselves with significant career disruptions, alongside extensive time in Victoria’s lockdown.

They’ve picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and created their The Inspire Collective consultancy, finding that despite a lifetime in travel and tourism, their skills are in fact very useful to industries like technology and education.

However, like all of us their hearts will always remain in our favourite sector, and so they are also determined to help the industry chart a path to the future, with the virtual session discussing the early results of a survey they are running to help answer the question “where to now?” for the travel industry.

They also noted that history shows that crises like the current pandemic war always lead to innovation and growth – and we need to be ready.

Identifying what we can control and then looking at what opportunities that could lead to is a good way to think, and that’s certainly the approach I’m going to take!

Meanwhile perhaps in that vein, it has been encouraging to see some positive developments for the industry’s recovery over the last month.

Despite the doom and gloom of lockdowns and indecision, the Federal Government is clearly considering what post-pandemic travel will look like, with a tender for the creation of what looks to be a smartphone-based “vaccine passport” app.

Changes to the inbound passenger declaration also clearly envisage the possibility of different quarantine regimes for vaccinated passengers, while Qantas has announced it will adopt the IATA Travel Pass platform once its international services resume.

Baby steps indeed, but in the right direction for the industry.