In March 2020, Wild Eye and the travel & tourism industry, like many other industries the world over, was dealt a catastrophic blow with the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic. At an estimated 80% decline in income generated by tourism, resulting in projected losses of in excess of a trillion Dollars, the industry remains under huge threat. Whether its airlines, hotels, lodges or other ancillary industries that rely on the tourism trade, there is little doubt that it would be some time before global tourism as we know it, returns to normal.
At the time, the future was uncertain, the challenges that lay ahead incredibly daunting, and drastic change was inevitable. The reality was that this unprecedented situation placed the future of Wild Eye and its people at risk.
We could never have imagined with the inception of Wild Eye in 2011, that our slogan of “change the way you see the world” and our chameleon logo, would feature so prominently in our approach to the many challenges we faced.
To put it simply, the decision was made to leave nothing to chance, and with that, we effected change! Change within our business, change for our people, and most importantly, a continual effort to change the way in which our guests see the world!
Similarly, to a chameleon’s 360-degree vision, and its ability to adapt to its ever-changing environment, Wild Eye conducted an in-depth analysis of how we operated, performed an overview of how we approached strategic decision-making, and ultimately decided to realign our internal values and culture, and streamline our business operations.
The company has embraced our new family identity, effectively instilling the core values of integrity, trust, pride, discipline and unity, and we remain as passionate, and well-positioned as ever to deliver world-class experiences for our guests.
So, what does the future hold for us?
Well, like any hardships in life, irrespective of their scale, this too shall pass, and the world will return to travelling soon. The rules will be different, and things may not feel the same, but ultimately the destinations we so desperately seek to visit, will be. The great wilderness areas across the globe remain unchanged and await our return with ever-increasing anticipation.
Our expectation is that the travel industry and tourism trade may never return to pre-Covid ‘normal’, at least not from an economic perspective, but there will be change in the type of experiences that that people will choose to escape to.
There will be a longing for a return to nature, in a quiet, soul soothing, relaxing and reflective environment, to truly escape from the untold stress, hardships and claustrophic existence that Covid has created.We will discover inner peace and freedom from a deeper, more intrinsic connection with nature, in vast contrast from all the chaos , unrest and continued uncertainty around us.
Even the most ardent of safari travellers that visit Africa time and time again, will be far more appreciative of the sights, smells, and sounds of nature, and, the added experience of being able to capture images – although still an important part of the experience – will be superseded by the special moments ingrained in your memory, rather than on your camera’s memory cards.
We foresee the focus of people’s experiences changing to the African safari of times gone by, where the evening camp fire is not only a place of warmth and comfort, but a place of true serenity to reflect, and to connect with family and friends alike.
We cannot wait to travel with you, and look forward to sharing in the connectedness of nature once again.
Until then, stay safe, and stay positive – our reunions will be that much sweeter!
The Wild Eye Team