If there is a silver lining…

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Travel plans have been under pressure for some months.

an image from the NSW Rural Bush Fire Brigade. Now some are being thanked in a meaningful way for the efforts by the cruise industry

Those thinking of going to Australia might have been deterred by the bushfires that began last November and then the floods that hit in February. Those considering Hong Kong had to think again because of the continued stand-off between protesters and the authorities that saw many tourist areas difficult places to reach in certain days.

In Europe it was the same. The lengthy strikes and demonstrations in France saw many museums (including the Louvre) close on Saturdays making weekend breaks in Paris not as appealing as they once were.

Then came coronavirus.  We are still understanding how this will affect our holiday and travel plans. Flybe claims that the virus was the final straw in its coffin, Lufthansa has cancelled up to 500 flights for the next mot h and Chinese airlines must be wondering what to do next.

After the Diamond Princess quarantine in Yokohama, cruise ships faced problems, firstly in docking at certain ports in the Far east and secondly with what to do with their ships in a market where few wanted far east cruises.

Many cruise companies repositioned their ships to Australia to try and tap that market. But they also did something else.

They remembered those volunteers that had fought the bushfires. Those people had spent long shifts in gruelling conditions. Some had lost their homes whilst protecting other people’s homes and a few had given their lives. Australia had a lot to thank them for.

And so some cruise companies thanked them. With ships almost idle they built up goodwill by offering free cruises to volunteer firefighters.

So far about 7,000 have enjoyed a break and cheered themselves up after the tiring work they have endured. More are set to go.

If there is a silver lining resulting from the coronovirus outbreak it is that some volunteers have been thanked for their efforts and shown that they are appreciated. Perhaps Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia would like to follow suit and carry volunteers into parts of Australia that have suffered from a tourism decline due to an unwillingness of Aussies and overseas visitors to travel.

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