Across the world we face uncertain times. Yesterday afternoon in excess of 461 000 cases had been recorded in 196 countries and territories around the world. It is crippling economies, disrupting the supply of goods and services and putting many people on the breadline. This reality makes it clear that we have to embrace the change that the virus has brought, or be left behind.
Just to show how fast things have changed, it has been only few days since the last two cases were announced and already many in our workforce are operating from remote locations as some businesses have physically closed doors to the public, while continuing to operate in the virtual world.
Our tourism industry has been hardest hit. With the airlines scrapping flights, hotels are virtually empty. That indeed has a ripple effect throughout the whole economy.
The fact is tourism is our lifeblood and has been for quite some time. But what this situation is showing us is that we need to make sure that in the future we do not put all our eggs in one basket. We must with urgency look to see what other sectors can be advanced to help earn revenue and valuable foreign exchange, once economic activity gets going again. Hopefully this is not wishful thinking, but a real possibility given the exploration expected in our territorial waters.
In respect of tourism, the reality is that even if the situation with covid-19 improves in a few months’ time, it will take far longer than that for travel to get back to its glory days. The fact is; those who will look to come to the country to spend their vacations, come primarily from Europe. Those international economies will take time to pick up and then persons must have the confidence to travel and feel safe doing so, if we are to see arrival figures as anything like before.
We thus encourage all to practise social distancing and not gather in groups, we have seen banks, supermarkets and other retail entities seeking to play their part by limiting the numbers in their establishments. We have seen the rise of basic food commodities and delivery services and businesses and entities.
Let’s hope and pray that we get out this global threat as soon as possible.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”