As the retail travel industry is getting thrown about during the recent Covid-19 flight cancellations, travel advisories, border closures, continuous supplier updates and scampering around to help stranded and cancelled clients, Romantic Planet Vacations points out that front-line travel advisors may be putting themselves on the back burner.
“But while you’re taking care of your client, who’s taking care of you? Are you looking after your own welfare? Staying healthy? Sleeping and eating well? Taking time out for you? Planning ahead financially as the world, and the travel industry, goes in lock-down mode? Do you know what to do if you begin to have the Coronavirus symptoms yourself? If you are laid off or are self-employed, do you know the steps on how to receive financial aid from the government?” the boutique host agency in niche travel markets wrote in a statement.
The help mitigate stress, the company has remained committed to ensuring the welfare of employees and independent contractors, including emotionally, physically, mentally and financially.
“Our team is the single most important focus for us in this time of crisis,” said Laurie Keith, President. “They are so busy taking care of the clients, who is taking care of them?”
For the last couple of weeks, its team of independent travel advisors, who are located across Canada, have been receiving regular updates from management on the supplier flex policies, step-by-step guidance to aid clients, sample letters and auto-responders and even social media posts. They are also connected at all hours in an online support group and via regular video conference calls.
“Just because we’re to stay home and self-isolate, it doesn’t mean we should be isolated,” Keith added. “We’ve laughed together, cried together, and worked hard together in helping our mutual clients during this chaos.”
To help the team financially, Romantic Planet Vacations has set-up an emergency fund for ICs to tap into if needed to help pay for rent or get groceries if needed, which will be a draw off of future commission. The company has also purchased industry-related shares in the stock market for their team.
“I want to show them the hope, belief and confidence that I have for our industry. We are strong and resilient and it will come back,” she said.
Each employee and IC have been given stocks to do as they wish. They can sell now or save and sell when the market has rebounded.
To help their team, Romantic Planet also created a “Team Care Package During Covid-19” which includes:
Romantic Planet Vacations is also sharing these resources with other agents and agencies.
“We might be competitors, but we’re all in this together,” she noted. “Knowing that we’re united is vital in order for our whole community to get over this obstacle.”
The ‘Team Care Package During Covid-19 For Travel Advisors’ is available here.