I was going to speak about office relationships today, but given recent current affairs it does seem that there is only one topic on everyone’s lips – the weather. Gatwick airport was brought to its knees and, following a four and a half-hour journey to cover twenty miles, I too have been forced to work from home. I’ve heard that Crawley has a foot of snow but I haven’t seen it yet! Please see below for two photos and take a guess; which is Verbier (top ski resort) and which is Surbiton (epicentre of middle-class London suburbia)?
The terrible weather this week made me think, once again, about the massive effects that adverse weather conditions can have on the travel industry. Last year the ash cloud (caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, a country who only seem to make the headlines for all the wrong reasons) took its toll on tourism operations the world over; in previous years various destinations have been affected by natural disasters or even just an unexpected period of rain. Many travellers understand that some events cannot be predicted; the last ash cloud to significantly affect air space occurred in 1992, in Alaska. Therefore the key is not in being able to prevent incidents, but in developing a pro-active crisis management strategy that is as customer-focussed as possible.
Reports from the summer suggest that businesses that were perceived to put their guests ahead of profits received extensive positive PR; conversely, throughout the snowfall of this week the media has given report after report on the failure of travel, transport and logistics companies to deal with what is, in reality, less than six inches of snow in most parts of the UK. It seems that, as a nation, we are just not able to cope with snow and the government insist that such irregular precipitation just cannot be budgeted for. Having lived in Canada previously I have my own opinions on our (slightly feeble) reactions to the white stuff… but for now, I will wrap up warm and be happy that I have access to Web mail and the Atrium G drive from home…
Take a guess, Surbiton or Verbier – Post your answers as comments guys.