Four weeks ago Arival made the announcement of their Berlin conference being canceled, I was hours away from boarding my flight. I headed back to my office, and within hours our business was being turned upside down. What started as a slow increase in cancellations was now an overwhelming flood. Travel bans, museums, and entire cities were shutting down one by one like dominos.
After the initial panic set in and then we accepted that all business will basically be paused indefinitely. I decided to focus on what we can do as a company to stay vital for whenever we get through this. Priorities were becoming clear, there is no question we need our guides taken care of first and foremost. They are not employees, they are independent freelancers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t count on us.
The idea was simple. Reach out to our past guests with a GoFundMe campaign. Who better to ask for support than the people who genuinely know how fantastic these guides are. We wanted to reach them on a personal level by making a video as a thank you.
Babylon Tours can only have so much impact. We are confident. However, that other Tour Operators and Colleagues (with whom we all share these excellent guides) will follow suit. Reach out to past customers who loved their experiences and guides. We are certain then that as a community, we can all generate some generous donations to give directly to our most valuable assets… the Guides!
Take action. Keep freelancers afloat. Remind them how appreciative we are of their work and dedication. We have many hurdles ahead, and recovery will take time. But if we can take away one thing from Arival, it’s that we are a unique industry, we help, support and encourage one another. A true community that we are all proud to be a part of.