Five Resolutions for 2021, Based Upon the Lessons of 2020
Five Resolutions for 2021, Based Upon the Lessons of 2020
A message from Jin Sasaki, President, Coast Hotels
I’ve seen lots of “let 2020 be over” posts; people looking for 2021 to provide a fresh and brighter start. Absolutely, 2020 has been difficult for so many of us both personally and professionally. Within the travel industry it has been devastating. But we don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we find a way to navigate through difficulty.
As 2020 comes to a close, I’m ruminating on some of the stand-out lessons from 2020, and how we can transform those into personal resolutions for 2021.
Lesson 1 – We love to travel.
Resolution – I will not accumulate more things in 2021, I will experience more things.
Yes, we probably knew before that we love the freedom to travel, but perhaps we didn’t know quite how much we appreciated that freedom. If absence does make the heart grow fonder, then we have a whole new level of affection for traveling.
Consumer goods don’t in themselves create memories – it is the act of experiencing that creates memories. By committing to experience more things, you’ll have more wonderful memories to recall…more moments for which to be grateful.
Lesson 2 - Technology is essential but is in no way a replacement for in-person experiences.
Resolution – In 2021 I will embrace opportunities to connect in-person whenever possible.
Whether you’ve traditionally worked in an office environment, or you’ve simply embraced platforms such as Zoom to try and stay connected to people and activities, Zoom fatigue is real.
Technology has been extremely important in business function, the movement of consumer goods, and certainly connection to friends and family over the past year. It has been truly amazing. Still, so many of us long for those in-person experiences. I cannot wait to go to a conference, to sit side-by-side with other people, to experience all those nuances and physical greetings that simply don’t translate in a technology environment.
In the past we may have taken opportunities for getting together for granted – even opting out of some gatherings. When health protocols allow, let’s embrace every opportunity to see people, be with people and connect in-person with other people.
Lesson 3 – We CAN travel, and stay safe, when we follow health protocols.
Resolution - When health protocols allow, I will travel.
The travel sector has been very responsive in putting protocols in place to promote safety during the pandemic. From airlines to hotels, car rental companies to attractions, all have worked hard to create a safe environment. And while the experience is different, the ability to stay in a hotel, dine in a restaurant, and enjoy a ski hill or beach have been possible. Sanitization, physical distancing and masks are important tools and will continue to be for the next several months.
Throughout the summer many people and families travelled locally and focused their activities outdoors. When health protocols allow, resolve to embrace the opportunity to travel and enjoy that break from the everyday and being at home.
Lesson 4 - COVID-19 has been very hard on Mother Earth.
Resolution - I will actively work to minimize consumption of plastic in 2021.
As a safety and sanitation measure during COVID-19, we’ve had to incorporate more single-use items into business operations. Restaurants have had little choice but to embrace takeaway. It has become very challenging to complete a weekly grocery shop with minimal plastic, as many stores have wrapped produce items that would traditionally not be pre-bagged. COVID-19 has taken a toll on the planet.
In the early days of COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic seemed earth-positive – with stories and photos of smog-free cities and clean waterways. That certainly hasn’t lasted, and the amount of garbage we’ve generated has been astounding.
As we enter 2021, we’ll have to try to do what we can to show more kindness to this planet we call home, by minimizing our impact wherever possible – embracing re-usable where it’s safe, and supporting companies that are doing their best to lessen their footprint, even in the age of a pandemic.
Lesson 5 - Our own backyard is a pretty amazing place.
Resolution - I will show reverence to the people and places in my own backyard and be an advocate for tourism to my area.
The amazing transportation infrastructure on our globe allows us to travel large distances with relative speed. In a matter of hours we can cross continents and oceans, whisking us off to places truly different and new. During the pandemic, travel has been restricted, and we’ve been encouraged to stay close to home. Staying close to home, it turns out, can be excellent, as many of us have explored our own backyards, and been enthralled with the experiences we can have, and the beauty we can experience, close-at-hand.
As we move through 2021, we will begin to see a gradual reopening of travel. Let’s not forget about the truly special and memorable experiences we had in our own provinces, states, communities and countries. Write and post a review, share a photo, comment on a social media post, let people know about the awesome experiences that await them in your special corner of the world. By doing so, you’ll help to be part of the engine of your local community. And goodness knows, your local tourism community could use your support as they aim to rebuild.
It has been a hard year for everybody. I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for the effort, patience and continued support of our Ambassadors, guests, partners and vendors. On behalf of the entire team at Coast Hotels, I wish you a healthy, happy 2021. We enter 2021 with lots of new knowledge and context – excited for amazing experiences that lie ahead.