As the sickening news unfolded yesterday, and then through the night as the incident expanded, the world seemed to be heaving a collective sigh of resignation amid the shouts of outrage. Another beautiful city and its wonderful people caught up in a modern-day madness perpetrated by seriously misguided individuals.
As the internal email of reassurance came through mid-afternoon from our operations team, advising that none of our guests were caught up in the tragedy, I was proud to be reminded just how well tour operators are organised when it comes to emergency situations or unforeseen circumstances. We have people on the ground, we have important connections in each destination and we have fully rehearsed and well-managed protocols and procedures for this type of situation.
Even before the news was even breaking on most news channels, we had already run full checks on guests in Barcelona and established that none were caught-up in the mayhem, we knew where each group was located, exactly who was with them, and we had already planned the next steps to ensure we remained well out of the situation.
Of course no-one can predict what will happen when away on vacation, or at home for that matter, since terrorism’s lunacy can surface anywhere at anytime. But it is comforting to know that we have your back when you travel with us. The close connection between the travel agent at home and the tour operator and their people on the ground really does make a big difference to your peace of mind. It doesn’t matter what the event may be, from transport strikes to ash-clouds we are there to help sort things out.
Just to close on this for today… it is important to carry on. We have to remind ourselves to put the numbers and events into perspective, which is not so easy when we are bombarded with 24/7 news coverage (on this and every other incident).
Remember that Spain is a warm and welcoming host to over 70 million visitors each year. Of course, every life is precious and amid this absolute wickedness our hearts and thoughts must be with the innocents from countries all over the world who were killed or injured, and their loved ones. It is my sincere hope however that most visitors to Spain now and in future will return home having met wonderful people and enjoyed truly positive experiences in this amazing country.
Barcelona picture credit: @catharinarytter Pixabay