06/04/2020

RGRM-Vacation

Your Unforgettable Journey

Introducing The WiT Community Blog: Stories From You

With Planet Earth in lockdown, our industry at a standstill and many of us in...

With Planet Earth in lockdown, our industry at a standstill and many of us in self-isolation or quarantine at home, or grounded, we thought we needed to find a way to share stories within our community, to form solidarity and foster a sense of belonging.

Short essays on what we are each doing,
how we are getting through this darkest hour in travel, how are we handling
withdrawal symptoms from travel, what we intend to do with this down time, a
word we want to focus on, a wish we have or simply, an important topic you want
to share with your travel friends at this time.

We will be running this blog for as
long as we need to, to get us through this. If you wish to contribute, please
send your essays to Siew Hoon. Send
images too, it’s your story.

Skiing in Hokkaido: “What will we do differently from what we did in the past?

Morris Sim (Co-founder, Circos Brand Karma), Entrepreneur, Traveller

Grounded in Hokkaido: What will I be
doing during Earth lockdown

Since December,
I’ve been in Hokkaido – the worst-hit prefecture in Japan – under a State of
Emergency for nearly three weeks now. My family were here over Chinese New Year
but went back to Taiwan when the first cases started to be reported here;
they’re safe and healthy.

I originally came
to assist a property management company in Niseko to better commercialize its
businesses; now, same goals but different plans. It might be a while before
this global health, financial, and generational crisis resolves into a coherent
picture.

The outcome of this
Earth self-correction will surely alter not just the travel business, but most
businesses. Daily news coming out of Europe and the States make me feel Brexit,
Megxit and the impeachment trials were so trivial; I like numbers, but this
math sucks.

I accept that most
people in the world will be affected by this, so I focus on ‘then what?’ How do
we build a future where this is the new normal? What will we do differently
from what we did in the past? And what can I do today to prepare for tomorrow?

The Passion Thing: Incubating New Talent

Incubating new
talent is something that is easier said than done, particularly in times like
these, in the hospitality sector, where there are many contingent staff who
depend on accruing hourly experiences in order to gain a permanent position
somewhere.

Social distancing,
quarantines, and lockdowns mean no customers – snuffing out the light and job
opportunities in both entrepreneurial and established service businesses. Less
than a week after the Governor of Hokkaido declared a State of Emergency, most
companies in Niseko laid off their entire seasonal staff or severely cut back
on hours.

Working holiday
became a nightmare as these young kids from all over the world, many in their
early 20s and first time in Japan, scrambled to adjust plans to get out amidst
flight cancellations and rent obligations. Perhaps ignorance is bliss – I
didn’t sense panic… more disappointment over spoilt plans.

Hopefully, this
experience quickly builds resilience and resourcefulness in them – traits that
will be required for any talent to be incubated in the new world, and something
that I will continue to do.