“For the first time in my career, I hired someone I’d never met in person.” Does this sound familiar to you? It is our new work culture in a post-pandemic world. Last week, for the first time ever, the Zartico advisory team got together in person in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, and it was luxurious, but art is not just a luxury. It is a necessity.
We all received our vaccinations, so it was time to meet in person after endless numbers of online meetings, huddles, and work sessions to elevate our destination partners with strategic insights and intelligence. However, nothing can replace the forge of human connection, the authenticity of who we are as individuals, and the synergy of our togetherness as a team.
While making plans for our strategic priorities at Zartico, we also talked about our endless love of the travel industry, our favorite restaurants, our future trips, and our excitement for upcoming conferences—in person! Travel is in our DNA. It brings us together as a team: the dream to transform destinations through technology and data. I learned a lot from the advisors: Katie Cook, Katie Stadius, Kelsey Blevins, and Natalie Jamieson. Here are some takeaways from our precious time together:
INTEGRITY: As advisors, we find ourselves in a pivotal role as a trusted voice with our partners. There are always questions and skepticism when it comes to data: Which data should I choose? Are the results indicating bad news? Should we discuss the notion of over-tourism? Is it under tourism? We have to speak with truth and transparency. After all, the truth always wins.
INNOVATION: The data world is constantly changing, and change is the only constant in our lives. It is our responsibility to find unique, creative solutions to our challenges as an industry. The possibilities are endless through technology.
INSIGHTS: Data is everywhere; however, insights are hard to come by. Often, I remind our partners that strategic business questions should dictate our metrics, not vice-versa.
INCLUSIVENESS: Our top priority as a technology company is our people. We believe our commitment to talent and embracing our differences will make us better. From the first day that I joined Zartico, we have made diversity, equity, and inclusion our top priority. Inclusiveness is our deep-seated value.
ICE CREAM: Let me tell you about how the advisors are all foodies. As Julia Child said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Finally, it comes down to one simple statement: The human connection is why I believe in the resilience of the tourism industry and our purpose-driven mission at Zartico. Travel is roaring back to life. Let’s meet it head-on with new technology, new data, new art, and celebrate our luxurious necessity!