Dear Members, Friends and Colleagues,
As 2021 draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas holiday season and most of all, a prosperous New Year.
2021 was not the year we expected; from the complete stop of 2020 to a “stop/ start”, “shall we/ shan’t we” business profile of 2021. The prognosis for 2022 remains unpredictable but as I write this, there are signs that the Omicron strain may not be as serious as Alpha and Delta. Nevertheless, we will have to see what the scientists decide and what transpires over the coming months as to the success of the forthcoming year.
Given the difficulties of 2021, we are grateful for the support from you, our members, in continuing membership and attending events. In an all-to-brief moment of metaphoric sunshine, we were able to stage an in-person element at WYSTC in October, and more than anything, being able to see, talk and interact with friends and colleagues in the youth travel industry was amazing. I think I speak for us all in saying that it was lovely to ‘be allowed out’ for those few days in Lisbon.
Looking forward, we have already decided that the STAY WYSE Conference will be delayed to April and we are hoping that WETM-IAC will still be possible in Malta, mid March. WYSTC 2022 in Portugal is firmly in our agenda and we hope it is in yours too.
It also looks as if full-blown travel restrictions may be a thing of the past; the virus generally seems to be able to get in anyway, but the key to stopping these variants lies with governments getting their populations vaccinated, and for the richer nations to help the poorer ones with vaccines and finance to achieve this. We need to push our elected officials to achieve this for the benefit of travel and humankind.
Finally, I’d like to thank our staff at the Confederation in Amsterdam who have been working from home since March 2020, almost without missing a beat! They are a great team and I am delighted to be working with such a resilient and resourceful group of professionals.
Big thanks to the Management Board for helping with the harder decisions of 2021, and the Sector Panel Members for their input into market conditions.
Season’s greetings, Happy Christmas, fijne kerst and a prosperous New Year.
Director General, WYSE Travel Confederation