Discover more from MaryTebje’s Talking Travel & Tourism
I own up to poor planning when launching this new newsletter.
For my international readers, half term in the UK is when offices are largely empty as families head off to Chamonix, Cape Town or Cornwall for the school holidays.
Skipping the second edition of Talking Travel & Tourism is not a good look. I thought then this week we could pause and recall a time when travel was unaffordable, there were fewer destinations, it was slow and exclusive, but at least you could light up!
I was fortunate to have travelled in tourist class on board the last of the Union Castle Line "Cape Mail Express” RMS Windsor Castle from Cape Town to Southhampton in 1976. A journey of 10 slow days before slow travel become a ‘travel trend’. In its place is a route that takes a brisk 11 hours (plus at least six hours getting to and through the airports), on business, premium or cattle class.
Commercial travel as we know it got underway in the 1950’s and a quick look through Google images shows glamorous groomed couples reclining in their spacious seats, a trolley of freshly prepared food, an attentive hostess plumping a pillow, and everyone smoking! Security was minimal, we could walk to the gate to say goodbye, or wave and watch from the observational balconies.
We can’t stay on the ground
It wasn’t until the late 1970’s and the arrival of the Jumbo Jet that travel really took off; ticket prices plummeted which set in motion mass tourism. New routes, new options and new passengers. The world was waiting.
After 9/11, air travel changed: endless security, restrictions, visa’s, long queues for everything, no cockpit visits, frustration, screening and taking our shoes and belts off.
Tired of packing your long weekend into a backpack?
Would flying in an unsafe, noisy, smoke-filled cabin be any worse than the horrendous queues, hassle, creeping baggage and extra costs that turn a £59 flight into a £159 flight?
We make our own reality don’t we? I’d rather have an open world with accessible travel that far outweighs the inconveniences of getting from place to place. Yes, travel has lost its glamour, but I choose to fly less and access travel is different ways that focuses on the destination.
A regional airline does it their way
This opens up opportunities for destination marketing
Writing this newsletter has been fun, but it has also reminded me how destinations have come to the fore. Some have benefited from air travel, many are dependent on it, some can offer alternatives like train travel, others communicate their offer really well. But how do we reward customers and visitors who perhaps are reluctant travellers, are expecting the impossible once-in-a-lifetime experience or go because it’s half term?