Good day from the island of Crete. It’s Orthodox Easter this Sunday, a time for reflection, hope, and togetherness no matter the circumstance. We are all caught up in a troubling crisis, and no one can have all the answers. The only certainty out there is that this too will pass one day. Another certainty is that there are people and things we can count on to guide us when the chaos passes.
The coronavirus pandemic tests the very fabric of our societies. Fear and uncertainty grips everyone. And everyone is reacting, in kind, to try and cope. Beyond coping, most people and businesses are trying to look forward, in order to prepare for the big reset. Thinking about this over the last couple of weeks, several wonderful colleagues and friends we’ve met in the last two or three decades. Over the next few days, I shall try to reflect in pictures and writing, as many of these amazing people as I can.
Reflecting on the hospitality industry a few iconic business people emerge. One of those is Thomas Magnuson, who I first met at a business meeting in Luxembourg some years back. Magnuson, for those who do not know him, created alongside his amazing wife Melissa, the world’s biggest independent hotel brand. And they did it from their basement. Really. It’s not some made-up PR story. Tom sent me a video the other day. Watch until the end, and you’ll realize how why “people” are the missing quotient the world needs now.
If you watched the outtakes, two things should be apparent. I can just hear Tom asking Melissa; “How can we really convey our heartfelt message here?” I’ll bet $100 bucks that Melissa, the creative genius of the duo, came up with the purity of sheer transparency. An authenticity reflected in the window inside what it takes to produce such a video. These are real people, humble and proud at the same time. Their simple message has always resonated with hoteliers in need of a real partner. And partners that do not demand the kitchen sink for marketing and selling rooms. At the end of the day, Tom and Melissa Magnuson are friends first, business partners second.
As an analyst, it’s been my job for the last thirty years, to try and help businesses and governments see through the fog of bad choices. In almost every case, the right choice comes down to people. Usually, it’s a single person, to be clear here. If you think about it, I am sure you recognize this too. And here’s that searchlight beaming through this coronavirus fog. We need people we can depend on to lead the way on clear days and stormy ones. I would be less of an analyst, reporter, storyteller, friend and father if I did not feature people like Tom and Melissa Magnuson here.
By the way, our Argophilia Travel News site has never taken a red cent in advertising revenue. If you see an ad on this site, it’s there because we believe in the business people who stand behind. I never charge for them. We created Argophilia in 2010 in order to show the world the wonders of Eastern Europe. Like Tom and Melissa’s dream, the mission was one of love. We wanted to share something beautiful, to fill a void of information, and do something meaningful in the profession we chose.
Tomorrow, when the world is reordered by this unprecedented disaster, it will be men and women like Tom and Melinda Magnuson, business people who provide the bedrock to establish new business and relationships on. The days of huge corporations crushing margins and the little guy, they will hopefully be long gone when this fog clears.