Three years ago we all held our breath as 2009 opened for business and waited for the ground to open up and send the travel industry hurtling into the abyss. And obligingly, it did. Having crawled tenaciously back out of the hole through the continuing uncertainty of 2010 and 2011 many of us had the same sense of impending doom as 2012 opened its eyes for the first time. Surely the financial market chainsaw that has been threatening to bring large countries crashing down like giant redwoods would finally start wreaking havoc in our secluded woodland of travellers and guests?
And then suddenly....nothing happened. I know it's early days but the signs are encouraging. The latest stats published by Pegasus and Travelclick suggest that the upward trend of recent months - in both corporate and leisure sectors - will continue for the foreseeable future. It is indeed strange weather; more like a tornado picking off specific vulnerable targets (whither Thomas Cook?) than the 2009 hurricane that demolished everyone's houses. And let's have a quiet moment remembering one of those tornado victims from outside our industry. Farewell then, Kodak. Not so much the victim of recession as the relentless juggernaut of evolving technology. Digital did for them. Ironically, the digital camera market is now itself under severe pressure as people switch to using their inbuilt smartphone cameras.
So whether the threat is recession, sovereign debt, geo-political upheaval, terrorism, technological revolution or plain old competitive activity, let's hope and pray we all ride the inevitable stormy seas with our sails intact. Happy 2012!