Among many other truths, the current COVID crisis has made clear the fundamental importance of hospitality, tourism and retail. I don’t mean as a market segment, a share of GDP, or the vital means of livelihood for countless people across the world, although those are all extremely important concerns. I mean as a facet of our nature, something innate to the human spirit in all of us.
It’s true that many Californians (including the families of many of our students) may not be able to afford the time or expense to take the sort of vacations advertised on travel sites, in major media outlets, or by lifestyle brands. However, R·H·T is about so much more than a week in Fiji. It’s as simple as a walk around the block or in a neighborhood park, a bargain weekday deli special, or a cold soda from a vending machine. It’s about those times in life when, no matter what else is transpiring in our worlds, we take a precious moment for ourselves and our loved ones and say ”yes, I earned this.”
The current crisis has thrown this entire industry sector into uncertainty, as it has so many others. Retail, hospitality and tourism will return. Indeed, businesses are re-opening across the state and the country, though no one knows precisely what the coming months and years will look like. But people will continue to be drawn by the wonder and pleasure of new experiences, the rejuvenating aspect of rest and relaxation, and the unceasing joy of peering around the next corner, if only to see what’s there.
So let’s take a moment to appreciate the wonderful experiences that this state affords us all. Let’s savor the prospect of a safe and prudent return to those activities. Let’s thank and salute all of the workers – essential workers – that have made tourism, hospitality and retail possible, including those that make it possible now, whether it’s the grocery store or the neighborhood spot for takeout.
Whatever lies ahead, our team stands with you.