Forbes magazine published a report this week that claims the tourism industry is facing more than a trillion-dollar loss because of the pandemic. A hundred million jobs have been put at risk as tourism has dropped by about 78% worldwide. In a normal year, about a billion and a half people are international tourists. I was surprised to learn that in many places one in every ten people’s jobs depends at least partially on tourism.
That got me thinking about all the wonderful people in so many different jobs who have helped to make our travels so memorable. What has become of all of them? What is happening to ………….
Sunlini, my expert golf caddy in Tanah Lot in Bali?
Rong, our amazing cycling guide in Yangshuo in Guangxi Province in China?
Sanih Nasri a teacher in Bata Putheh Borneo and his wife Hanina, who supported their own children’s schooling by having homestay guests in their house? We stayed in their home and in this photo, I am with their daughter Hana. Mr Singh our unflappable driver during our highway trip from Dehli to Agra to Jaipur in India? Dee Dee our snorkelling trip organizer in Boracay in the Philippines.
The women who were our fabulous masseuses in Progresso in the Yucatan province of Mexico? The amazing cook who made us special okonomiyaki pancakes in Hiroshima Japan? Andre the superb naturalist who taught us all about the cloud forest in Costa Rica?
I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself because I can’t travel but what about all these people who depended on tourists to support their families or their education or their communities? I can only hope they will be able to find new ways to make a living or that the pandemic will end soon and they will once again be able to use their skills and talents to educate, entertain, care for and enlighten others.