Time for the travel industry to learn from one another.Snowfall | a joy or nightmare for the travel industry?
A blog by Daphne Groeneveld
Snow. You either love it or you hate it. I happen to feel a bit of both. For years us Dutchies have had a terrible ‘winter’ that’s not even worthy of the name, so I have been longing for a decent blanket of winter whites to enjoy a winter walk. And skiing? One of my favourite things to do! What I don’t like however, is how much of a hassle and problems it causes. As soon as a few flakes of snow arrive in The Netherlands, the entire country ends up in massive chaos. Trains don’t function, roads are slippery and flights cancelled. Heck, even some schools close their doors because of a mere 5 centimetres of snow. The 8 o’clock news opens with it as if it is the most important topic in the world. Seriously!
Of course snow is a necessity for ski resorts and over the last couple of years it has been a pitiful mess with way too high temperatures and the lack of decent snow. Any skier, snowboarder, tourism board and winter travel company has been praying to the snow gods for a bit of those winter whites, myself included. I would hate it if skiing would become a thing of the past or if I would have to fly halfway across the world to find some powder while we have some of the world’s best slopes right around the corner here in Europe. Please Mother Nature, let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!
But that brings me back to The Netherlands. While ski resorts are all perfectly equipped for snowfall and life goes on like nothing happened, back at home the world comes to a stop. It’s not like we never ever have snow, so why does it always end up in trouble? Honestly, I haven’t got a clue. Places like Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia all function perfectly and they get some serious snow.
Last weekend I enjoyed a lovely city trip to London, my favourite place in the world, while The Netherlands slowly got covered in a very thin layer of snow. Flying home to Amsterdam proved to be nearly impossible. 9/10 flights were cancelled and the entire day we were left in despair, not knowing whether we were staying or going.
Apparently communication is the first thing to go out of the window in situations like these. No text, email or phone call from the airline, no information whatsoever on the airport website, the airline’s website went black, answering a quick question on Facebook Messenger impossible and flight information at Gatwick very hard to find. It wasn’t until I reached the gate that I actually knew whether take-off would be possible. Being in a situation of not knowing is the worst thing there is. So travel industry, pretty please improve your communication and learn from the seasoned experts. Than we can all dream of a white Christmas.
Happy Holidays from me to you.