Launching MYSA in the middle of a pandemic isn’t what I’d planned.
It’s inevitably brought with it some unique challenges too. In the latter stages of lockdown, mine was how to not look like one of Noel Gallagher’s backing singers on the many conference calls!
The biggest of these though, has undoubtedly been the one facing the sector as a whole.
It’s crushing to hear of talented colleagues and friends in this industry facing redundancy, and the endless stream of dire predictions about the future of travel making their way into the news. It leaves all of us with so many questions: has the sector been irrevocably scarred? Will Zoom obliterate any need to leave the house to meet people again? Will travel ever feel safe again?
But despite all of this, all these challenges and uncertainties, I remain firmly optimistic about the future of this sector.
In sharing our ambition at MYSA to empower travel managers on serviced accommodation, I’ve seen firsthand that – far from binning their business travel budgets – companies are using this pause to rethink policies and find ways to do things better once the world reopens.
In working closely with the brilliant property owners we partner with, I can see that the hospitality sector is showing itself to be resilient and innovative in the face of adversity. From the swift introduction of brand new health and safety protocols to the ongoing excellence of customer service, and the decision by many operators to open their doors to key workers for free. All of this shows a sector ready and able to bounce back at the first opportunity.
In browsing LinkedIn, each day I spot countless colleagues in this industry sharing their support, the offer of advice or introductions, or even new roles to those that find themselves unemployed as a result of this crisis. The recent introduction of HUGS (Hospitality United Group Support) is a perfect example of a sharing, caring initiative. These gestures are not only heart-warming but should give us all hope that this solidarity will see us through.
For all these reasons – and many, many more – I remain optimistic that the future of business travel will be bright.
It goes without saying that a pandemic isn’t what any of us had planned for in 2020. But I genuinely believe we can come out the other side of this crisis stronger, better and more resilient. And I can’t wait for MYSA to be part of that.