Message to TMI Members from President, Amanda Lumley
21st December 2020
As we head into the festive season and look forward to 2021 it seems hard to imagine that this time last year was so different, a world apart from where we are today. It is almost impossible to conceive just how much the whole world has changed in that short space of time.
TMI is the voice of destination management, the professional organisation, which supports destination managers, consultants and organisations working in the sector. This year seems to have been the year when we all needed support more than ever. Many of you have had a roller coaster journey through lockdowns, furlough, Tiers and just day-to-day survival and as a community; it feels like COVID19 has brought us closer together. You have juggled supporting your local tourism businesses on the ground with supporting your family; children and friends at home, fighting all the way. The work of destination managers, consultants and our wider members is varied and challenging and this year has demonstrated the dedication, commitment and sheer resilience required to not only be successful but also just navigate in these complex times.
I am also particularly thinking of our young student cohort who have also had to adapt in these changing times. A big thank you to our two student reps Monica Escobedo and Paris Flint you were superstars at our annual convention providing first class technical and event support. You both help keep our feet firmly on the ground when it comes to understanding the views and needs of our student members.
Although 2020 has been our ‘annus horribilis’, a year we would all readily forget, green shoots are already on the horizon. Vaccinations are taking place as I write this and with any luck by the end of 2021 a high percentage of the population will be protected from this horrible and disruptive virus. Accommodation providers are indicating strong forward bookings for next summer from the UK domestic market and our trade contacts tell us that when travel corridors start to re-open there is pent up demand from the major overseas markets too. Although it is highly likely that we will leave Europe without a Brexit deal, as a sector we will adapt and change. That is in our nature, tourism has always been an innovative and forward thinking sector. Recovery will take time, determination and a unified approach but baby steps are already happening. As your voice we will continue to build on our strong relationship with the Tourism Alliance, Tourism Industry Council and government to ensure that you are heard and we get the support required to help our sector recover.
I would like to thank my fellow Board Directors, particularly our new recruits Susan Briggs, Maeve Marmion, Siobhan Wilson and Andy Woodward for their enthusiasm and new ideas. Tom Pridmore our Vice President and Andrew Bateman, Peter Colling, Jude Leitch and Robin Barker for keeping our ship on course. I am also delighted that following hard in the footsteps of Cathy Guthrie we now have our new CPD officer Joyce Cawthorpe who has hit the ground running in her new role!
We have a new team here at TMI and as we head into the new year we have new thinking, new ideas and there are new opportunities to explore. In January the team will be getting in touch with you our members and we will be listening to your views to help shape our programme over the next 12 months. Sadly, we have lost some of our members and tourism organisations this year, however, our membership has grown and as an organisation we have strengthened our team. I am confident that we are in good shape to move into 2021 with an optimistic view of the future and the opportunities it holds.
At this time of year then, my thoughts are very firmly with you all and I hope that you will be able to take some well-earned time to spend with your families. My very warmest wishes to you all for a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.