Today I am not sharing with you a specific travel advice or a food exercise. I recently spoke to a very good friend of mine, named Carla Rigazzi, who also is a professional Tour Guide, and we discussed a bit about the present pandemic emergency and its long lasting effect on our job as tourism professionals. We do both believe this is a time when travellers do have to support the tourism industry around the world with just one simple action: do not cancel your trip, just postpone it. Here below is an open letter that Carla wrote to all those who had plan a trip to Italy or anywhere else in the world. Read it and keep your travel plans as they were before the virus. All of us, as tourism professionals, will be grateful to you.
I am an Italian tour director and a local professional Guide in the Piedmont Region and the city of Turin. I have been working in the tourism field for more than thirty years, leading dozens of tours around the world and an endless number of city tours in my Region. To be honest with you, the current Covid-19 pandemic is the most dramatic time I ever faced have in my professional career. It obviously doesn’t concern me only but all those who work in the tourism industry, in Italy and several Countries around the globe. Tourism has pretty often been considered a no indispensable component of our lives as one can obviously survive without travelling.
However, travelling does represent an important part of our life, even during this terrible times when most of the world’s people in under strict lockdowns. We do usually allow us some time for one or more trips a year as self-compensation for our efforts at work. Travelling gives us joy, relax, nice experiences, knowledge, new friends, emotions and many other skills that last for a lifetime. It is said that one can live each travel thrice: when you plan it, when you live it, and when you remember it. Now we are all forced to stay at home regretting that we will not do the trip we planned maybe months ago. This is not the way to cope with the present situation! We need to take advantage of this unusual period instead. It is important to keep high hopes that our dreams will become true. Maybe later than sooner, but they will.
Thus, what shall we do? Just 3 little things.
First: we need to get out of this international crisis by respecting rules, the recommendations and the suggestions provided us by the scientific community to defy the virus outbreak , even though it means we have stay home for a while, stay far from our loved ones and isolated as much as we can;
Second: we can exploit every minute of our lockdown time to enrich our knowledge about the culture of the Country we had planned a trip to, before the virus. We can read books about it (kindle is a good tool if books shops are in lockdown in your area), check maps, follow our favourite travel blogger and check on the internet the recommendations they provide us, exploit, for once, the social network in a time effective way. We might prepare ourselves by cooking recipes from the area we planned to visit, savour from our sofa a guided tour along the alleys of a medieval Italian village, step on a millenary stone of a Roman archeologic site or enter into a 17th century royal palace, drink a good wine while looking at a romantic sunset on a Ligurian bay, stroll along an elegant street of Florence for some good shopping or…just use your fantasy, your imagination and keep your travelling spirit high!
Third: keep in touch with your Travel Agent, your Tour Operator or Travel Consultant and discuss with them how to postpone, reschedule or change completely your travel plans picking another possible date to postpone your trip or choose a different destination. This is the most important thing we should all do in to support global tourism especially in those Countries that are most affected by the crisis. There are so many people involved in the tourism industry who will need you to start travelling again as soon as the crisis will be over: hotel receptionists, cleaners, bar tenders, cooks, waiters, bus drivers, pilots and cabin crews, airport and luggage handling staff, tour guides, tour leaders, travel agents, tour operators’ staff and more… All these workers are seeing their job at risk. There is just one simple thing you can do to support them: start travelling again, do not cancel your trip. Just postpone it, and if you will choose to come to Italy, I will happily be here for you”.
Don’t give up, please! Love, Carla