Gaucho in training
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