You'd be forgiven for growing a little despondent when it comes to the rollercoaster ride of travelling at the moment, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across the planet and many people still in lockdown. Here in Far North Queensland, our tourism industry has taken an enormous hit from the border closures, and across the safari countries in Africa, there is huge unemployment as a result of the lack of international travel upon which they rely. But with Queensland opening its borders to most of the rest of Australia now, and the vaccine starting to roll out across the world, there is good reason for optimism as we enter 2021.
It's that time of year again - and yet, it s a very different kind of Christmas this year for so many of us. As Covid-19 continues to rise up across the world, we are thinking of our friends who are being forced to spend the festive season away from loved ones and in lockdown. It's certainly been a year full of upsets in our travel plans, but with the vaccine making good progress we've come a long way from where we were at the start of the year as the virus began to roll out across the planet.
As we near the end of the crazy year that was 2020, a lot of us will be glad to see the end of it. There s heartening news from Africa with a number of our favourite countries for safaris having re-opened to international visitors under strict conditions. It's not business as usual, but the door is open and Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda are just a few countries that are welcoming international arrivals on safari.
The name of the game for 2020 is adapt and be resilient, but it s also been about working out how to pivot in our work or businesses to roll with the punches. For Matson & Ridley Safaris, with our tours in Africa and Australia all postponed to 2021, and still awaiting news of when the Covid-19 vaccine will be in widespread use, we've been developing our conservation consultancy side and looking at ways we can contribute during these uncertain times for everyone.