Operator Story: How One Small Operator Is Seeing Her Way Through

In tough times, we all have our doubts. The owner of one small Caribbean operator is sharing them openly here, as well as the things she’s doing now. Take 3 minutes to read this heartfelt story now.

Reading Time: 2 mins 30 sec

As I sit in my office in Punta Cana, staring at a deserted beach, trying to see past the cancellations and the bleakness of the future, I am drawn to online research and statistics.

I wish to thank Arival for having the foresight to want to reach out and band us together – we who strive to make travel the unforgettable experience that keeps all travelers wanting more.  We, the little guys, who wake up every day excited to be bringing the best of our destinations to the tourists who have arrived and are ready to be wowed… We who spend countless hours thinking about what else we can do to make our tour the best one they have ever been on.

As I read through some of the material online, one comment stood out:  

¨I think we have all suddenly awoken to find out how brutally vulnerable and risky our sector can be. I believe the virus will force changes in the way we run a tour and activities business in Italy. Maybe there will be changes everywhere else, too.¨

These are the words of Emiliano Mochi, CEO of Eyes of Rome, from this Arival article of stories of operators in Italy. 

I am shocked at how in one sentence he has captured how I feel so well even though he is living this event hundreds of miles away from my little Caribbean island.

By now, anyone who is in this business has seen the highs of high season and the lows of low season and is used to trying to deal with each as best they can.  What we are not used to is thinking that with this virus, our world as we know it is turned completely upside down, blown apart. Brutally vulnerable and risky seems almost like an understatement.

Nothing can prepare you for dealing with cancellation after cancellation with no end in sight.  And for not knowing when you can expect the trend to reverse and for bookings to come back. And now we have to face the awful truth that it may be that way for many months to come.

Many of us are small businesses.  Driven by a passion for what we do, be it great food, history, or a love of the sea. We soldier on and in the end, all we ever wanted to do was share our passion with travelers from around the world.  Never did it occur to us that there would be no travelers whatsoever with whom to share it with.

So now what?  

Well, quite frankly I have no idea. The Dominican government appears to be on island time. It has not yet made announcements for what we are sure will be measures of self-isolation that are in place like anywhere else in the world.  It has however stopped most inbound flights and began returning all travelers home asap.

So that leaves me with a lot of time now to try and come up with a plan. It is impossible to see what the future looks like when the present seems so enormous an obstacle.  The virus is so tiny, has effectively become a giant blocking out the light. At least that is how it feels.

I suppose in the end a deep restructure and re-positioning will be needed in order to emerge from this alive.  This will lead to tough marketing questions and pricing questions and everything in between.

I for one will be watching closely all of the ideas that are shared as I can use all the help I can get.  

I just hope my savings will be enough to carry us through this dark spot on the history of travel.

So dear Arival, please keep the information and the webinars going as the tour business needs you now more than ever.

From the team at Arival: Hang in there. We’re in it together, and we’ll get through it together. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


already a member?

Lost your password?


Become an Arival Insider

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021.

Arival.travel articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].