The situation as it is today

Today the global tourism community seems to be experiencing an unprecedented crisis because of Covid 19 pandemic. The situation is not good, and we all try to survive economically in adverse conditions. Borders are closed, flights are cancelled, hotel bookings are cancelled etc.

This situation is pretty much the same for all of us. It is perfectly normal to feel sadness and anxiety about the future. But we have to deal with the situation calmly. This new virus is not going to make the earth stop turning around. This new virus will at some point stop its destructive work. Medicines and vaccines will eventually stop it, within the next few months. And then, all tourism professionals will be called to resurrect the trips and set up tourism again. Why? Because people will want to travel again!

Our mission is to be healthy and safe and to prepare ourselves and our companies for the next day, whenever it may come. Because it will come, that's for sure. It’s also sure that people will never lose their love to travel. It’s also sure that people will never lose their love for life! 
So, get ready for the next day, when we will all be called to bring things back to their former state. When we will all be called to give back to humanity its trips!

Tip number one: Stay in touch: the power of networking!

So, are you locked in your house wondering what to do and how to react to this new situation? First of all, stay healthy and secure and take care of yourself. Tourism needs its own army, and we are its soldiers.

The tourism army must be prepared to face the next day. And how do we achieve this? First of all, staying in touch!

We have been hearing about the great importance of networking for years. Here's our chance to spend time with those partners we've already met, but also to get to meet as many tourism professionals as possible, online.

Here's the opportunity for you to build a strong networking, with potential partners around the world, with whom you will be ready to work when conditions allow it.

In recent weeks, the internet has been full of live discussions about the new crisis we are experiencing, full of relevant forums with social networking discussions, free seminars and related articles which explain to us that our first concern has to be how to stay up to date!

So, be creative! Instead of feeling sad for what you have lost, start working for what you will gain in the future. Meet potential partners from around the world, think of new projects, respond to Covid 19 with your creativity.

So here are three reasons to strengthen your network

1. These people are in the same situation as you and they are facing exactly the same problems

Talking to them you may hear some suggestions to react, that you had not thought of until now. Listening to many different perspectives may change the way you view things and create a new perspective for you.

2. Your potential future partners now have time for you

You may have been tired recently to make an appointment with a reputable professional you wanted to work with. You see we were all busy, we didn't have time for a lot of things, we started our work early in the morning and finished late at night, and we always missed some things that even though we considered important, we didn't have the time to do.

But now, not only we do have more time, but we are thirsty to come back stronger. So, it is possible that if you send an email to someone who did not have the time to read and respond to you, he will do now.

So, look for new business contacts from around the world and many will respond to your call. Start from today the biggest investment you have for the next day: a trusted network of business partners from around the world.

3. Our business contacts are the ones who bring to us the real situation out there, everyone from where they live.

This helps us get out of our personal world and have a holistic view of the problem. It also helps us to see how people and companies are facing the same problem in different places. Our horizons will open up and we will inform us of ways we may not have imagined so far.

Take care of your public presence

Finally, a little tip. You are free to choose whichever way you want in order to create and grow a strong online business network. Look for business platforms, forums, seminars, educational communities and anything else you will find reliable.

But be careful about your public image. Be aware of your own reaction to other peoples’ public presence. All the ideas and suggestions you hear may not seem realistic. All of the suggested solutions may not suit to you and your business. But speak publicly without offending anyone. Analyze your position, explain your thoughts and respect even the most opposing opinions!


1.Be part of social media and post on professional platforms and online forums, even if you haven't been able to do so far. Study the other members, see their profiles, their professional activities, the places they are active and try to find out which ones you would like to join in the future. Take for example Evintra, which has thousands of tourism professionals from around the world as its members. Don't you think it would be helpful for you to be a member so that you can see all of these members but also these to be able to see you?

2. Think differently. The next day will be up to the adventurous, to those who have something new to offer, to those who will stand out. You can be one of them if you give yourself the opportunity to become creative. The more you see and read, the more it will open your mind to inspire new ideas. So, become pioneers!


In this series of articles that I started to write about how we can respond positively to this new world crisis, I do not wish to promote myself as an expert and a wise person. I am a simple tourism professional sharing with you my thoughts and concerns about this difficult situation we are all experiencing. I don't have the infallibility. I'm here to share my thoughts and share how I deal with the problem. I'm here to hear your own thoughts, your own concerns, your own ideas. For those who want to contact me personally, my email is  You can always send me your comments, they are all welcome.

In a few days a new article follows with suggestions and ways to support our customers and partners in this difficult time. Stay tuned!

By Maria Athanasopoulou, founder of the tourism marketing company Respond On Demand, co-founder of the non-profit company Top Tourism, Chairwoman of the World Food Travel Association and Ambassador in Greece of EVINTRA