Gau­cho in train­ing

Travel Digest - - EDITORIAL | CONTENTS -

Get­ting com­fort­ably un­com­fort­able – was a rec­om­men­da­tion given by a fu­tur­ist at a con­fer­ence I was at re­cently. Per­fec­tion is the en­emy of progress, he went on to es­pouse. The con­fer­ence was the New Zealand Ho­tel In­dus­try Con­fer­ence and the fu­tur­ist was Dave Wild. Con­fer­ence del­e­gates learnt about step­ping back from the busi­ness and fo­cus­ing on the fu­ture next and the fu­ture be­yond – tak­ing your­self to places you had not been to be­fore and lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple around you. Well I took this lit­er­ally to heart and as you can see – here I am on horse­back in the re­mote coun­try­side just out­side of Salta in Ar­gentina. The horse was very un­der­stand­ing. He sensed the per­son on his back was some­one new to horserid­ing and I sensed he was not used to me – and so we got on just fine. I must ad­mit, how­ever, it was fairly much a case of fol­low-the-leader, as I was with a small group of novice horse riders and we were fol­low­ing and be­ing ca­joled by a real life Ar­gen­tinian gau­cho [a na­tive cow­boy of the South Amer­i­can low­lands, usu­ally of mixed Span­ish and In­dian an­ces­try] – and I can tell you, they are very good at horserid­ing and help­ing those who are not. Yes, I was step­ping back from busi­ness. But I was also learn­ing how other peo­ple run a busi­ness, al­beit a back-to-ba­sics busi­ness. Back to the fu­tur­ist: “The best way to pre­dict the fu­ture, is to in­vent it. Do not wait for it to come to you. Tech­nol­ogy can tell you part of the fu­ture, but it can’t tell you about the whole fu­ture,” were his words of wis­dom. He bravely sug­gested see­ing the fu­ture be­fore it ar­rives. And this is some­thing that comes easy when you are plod­ding around in the peace­ful coun­try­side with­out the stresses and strains of the city or of­fice life back home. I have long pre­dicted the tourism in­dus­try will do a full turn-around. We will see more peo­ple get­ting around on horse­back. And we will see more peo­ple trav­el­ling on sail­ing ships. Peo­ple will ac­tu­ally want, or need, to get away from fast paced tech­nol­ogy – for health rea­sons if not for any­thing else. Look­ing ahead to the more im­me­di­ate fu­ture, macro-eco­nomic con­di­tions are bod­ing well for the travel in­dus­try and in­deed our coun­try as a whole. West­pac chief economist Do­minick Stephens was also speak­ing at the con­fer­ence and he is pre­dict­ing a three per cent per an­num growth in New Zealand for the next two to three years. His bullish com­ments bode well for those think­ing about rid­ing a horse to nut out their strat­egy while the sun shines.

Lorraine Thom­son Pub­lisher / Editor

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