A note from the founders:
Take a deep breath. Each morning, we wake to fresh news about the increasingly scary world we live in. Whilst the situation of Covid-19 and its rapid spread must not be underestimated, it’s fair to say that the level with which we are hit by superlatives and doomsday scenarios can be overwhelming. Even for the most positive of souls.
And all of us are feeling it. Not just in our emotions but in our day to day behaviour. It seems to be all-encompassing yet (some) people think it will become even more so. So we wait. The world waits. And it hopes, prays and searches for a horizon that brings with it positive signs of Coronavirus being abated.
Whilst we – as a travel operator – are in no way positioned to offer any expert view on how or when this situation will draw to a close, we do know that we need to find balance. Balance to counteract the levels of hyperbole, and a need to focus on the facts. More importantly, we need to focus on caring for each other and the world we inhabit. While extreme reactions to the virus might have an understandable rationale, there’s need to ensure that our responses are reasonable and measured.
With Black Tomato, we created a travel company that is rooted in care. Caring for our staff, our clients and the people and partners we work with around the world. Care has been a by-word for how we operate. And in times like these, it’s important for us to remind ourselves that caring will always defeat scaring. Anxiety-driven clicks and shares won’t change this fact. But they might injure it.
“We need to focus on caring for each other and the world we inhabit.”
So, what does caring mean to us? It means looking after the people who make Black Tomato what it is. It’s about caring for our staff, in our UK or US offices, or for those travelling around the world – and for those on the ground. It means caring for our partners, some of whom we’ve worked with for over 15 years.
Importantly, it also means listening to the needs of our clients. For some, that means moving planned trips to other, safer destinations. For others, it means working hard to find new dates or helping to plan travel for the future when these challenging times have passed. And for many, it means providing reassurance that travel to many parts of the world is still absolutely fine – while encouraging them to get out there and keep exploring this incredible planet of ours.
Caring also means supporting the many wonderful people, partners and communities around the world who we’ve worked with for years. Fear-driven conversations and knee-jerk reactions will only hurt the livelihoods of communities, people and places for whom travel has always been their lifeblood. And these are some of the most spectacular and unique places in the world. An aspect of huge importance and pride to us is that we, through our clients’ travels, make such a positive contribution to the lives of our partners around the world. From guides, to the amazing people you meet at hotels and on adventures, travel is a vital source of life for these people. It’s essential that we continue to care for our partners and support in any way we can at all times.
We want to continue to support and encourage people to travel when possible. Our staff will be on hand to help our clients, new and old, to achieve their travel dreams. Paying heed to their concerns while providing help in navigating the fluid and often confusing messages that are circulating our media and social networks.
In short, caring means finding balance. It means continuing to celebrate this planet of ours, and making sure we don’t let down the communities for whom travel is a way of life. And it’s about providing care, information and support in times of considerable stress.
Ultimately, we’ll continue to monitor Covid-19 as the story develops. But while we wait, we will still be here, ready to talk – and always caring.
Tom, James and Matt
Co-Founders of Black Tomato