The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the global travel industry to a complete standstill and it is unlikely to ever be the same again. While reflecting on how this interruption would impact the future of tourism, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bruce Poon Tip has concluded that despite the hardships being presented to many of us, we have been given the gift of reshaping how we travel in the future.
Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still is a free, short ‘instabook’ (e-book) written by Bruce while in isolation during April 2020. It is designed to be a letter to all who love to travel, to inspire them to continue to dream of travelling but to also reimagine how they can emerge from this pandemic with a renewed sense of purpose when selecting their next holiday.
“This pandemic has created the largest startup economy ever seen as we all go into hibernation and wait until we can travel again – and we must travel again. But we can do it better. We can rethink everything we thought was normal. Why fight so damn hard to return to normal when the opportunity to transform travel is on the other side of this mess? This is about you…it’s about me…it’s about everyone.”
– Bruce Poon Tip
In this new book, Bruce explains why he believes we don’t have to go back to how things were, that we should challenge ourselves to make better choices on the other side of this pandemic.
“Initially, I wanted to write a love letter to our travellers, to reassure them that travel will return and to provide them with hope for the future. Our mission has always been to use travel as a force for good, but as the letter got a lot longer, I realized I needed to encourage anyone who travels in the future to think about the positive impact they can have on communities by making wise choices. Some of the poorest people in the world are suffering right now and they will need us when travel returns.
“People will travel again. We don’t yet know when, but we know that they will. I want to challenge everyone who travels to ‘unlearn’ what they think they know. We have the opportunity to use this reset to be more conscious about how we can improve, both as individuals and as a wider travel community. We all have the ability to create positive change and to transform even more lives in the future,” Poon Tip shares.
Bruce describes Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still, as an instabook designed to ‘capture a moment in time’. Through the course of the book he reveals how this crisis unfolded for him personally, then looks at the current state of the travel industry with regards to home-sharing, climate change, ‘flight-shaming’, overtourism, and the proliferation of mass-market holiday options. Bruce next explores the lessons travel teaches us in terms of connection and compassion, the potential for community tourism to be a force for good, and how we can all do better going forward.
Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still is now available for download at www.unlearn.travel, on Apple Books, and Kobo in Canada.