About a month ago, a dear friend of mine who manages a popular Croatia news blog asked me for my insight, as he was working on a story about AndAdventure. The request came just as the global impacts of COVID-19 began to change our livespersonally and professionallyas we know it. In the travel and tourism industry, no one is being spared from disruption.
To buy some time, I told him that I need to rethink my career. But realistically, there is not much to rethink, because when you love what you dowhen you deeply care about your team, and the suppliers that depend on your businessthe only thing to do is focus on preserving what we have, reimagining what we can, adopting to the constant changes, and getting ready to move forward on the other side of this. Every day, new questions arise and in most cases, we dont have answers; the moment we think we have figured something out, another development resets our course.
When will this end? We dont know. Will the travel industry be changed when all is said and done? Probably, but we dont know for certain how, though there are many ideas and perspectives circulating that we can consider as we find a path forward. Still, theres an opportunity in the meantime to take stock of what we do know and what we can observe of Covid-19s impact on the planet, and adjust accordingly. If anything good is to come out of this, perhaps its our chance to do things better.
Nature is healing
Being an adventure-oriented company, the great outdoors is our sanctuary; respecting and immersing ourselves in all of natures glory is where we find our joy. I enjoy seeing positive news stories and social media posts about wildlife reclaiming their territory and reports on less pollution due to a slow down of industrial production and traffic, etc. We cant wait to get outside again.
Not so long ago, this was one of the biggest challenges of Croatias most popular destinations, and there was no clear solution (or, maybe fair to say the associated revenue was a deterrent to consider our options). In todays climate, overtourism has become a long-lost concept; hopefully, gone but not forgotten. Our lessons learned and the negative impacts of overtourism well-documented, we are in a better position than ever to integrate and enforce green, sustainable practices to all we do. As an active and adventure travel business, this is core to our existing ethos; small group tours leaving minimal impact and few traces of our presence in the areas we operate while supporting locally-owned businesses to strengthen community success. Now, were looking at how we can innovate further. Lets hope that with this reset, more key industry players take-upand follow through witha better way of doing things so overtourism will be nothing more than a thing of the past.
We were given time
Its a precious commodity that most of us missed desperately when business was in full swing; we always needed more of ittime to enjoy with our families, kids; time to finally read that book or finish that online course thats been on file for years; or even to pair all the Tupperware boxes with matching lids. Now, we have that time. Its an opportunity to rethink our lives, careers and goals. To reimagine our businesses to be more sustainable and nature-oriented. Indeed, we also have time to be sad; to feel the uncertainty about the future and for stress to numb our creative power. But when you can, choose motivation, optimism and hopebecause even the darkest patch can be a beautiful turning point.
I still owe my friend answers to the long set of questions he sent me, not because I feel that timing might be wrong to publish our story but because I believe this is the time we all need to reinvent ourselves, assess our businesses and our goals, and redirect our creative energy so we could deliver better, greener and more sustainable experiences when were finally able to welcome our clients to beautiful Croatia once again. When that time comes, I will be happy to share the journey of AndAdventure, which will be made richer for the experience of overcoming challenges and adapting to a new reality.
In the meantime to my team and of our suppliers with whom weve created so many amazing AndAdvenure experiences, to our partners who are facing the same struggles, and to our precious clients who are supporting us in so many different ways, thank you. We will sail through this storm together.