Don't Bug Me, I'm Off Travelling.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Sunday, 23rd August 2009
There is no doubt, once you've got the travel bug, it's hard to shake it off, which is why Yeoh Siew Hoon believes our mission is to spread the love of travel, as ZUJI is doing in a new campaign in Singapore.

Some time ago, I asked on Twitter, "Why is travel so addictive?"

Among the responses that came back was this one from Brett Henry of Abacus, "Tvl  addictive b/c of ability 2 delvr new knowledge, experiences & perspectives at rates that R difficult 2 duplicate at home!"

That same question asked at a dinner elicited similar responses. "It allows you to be free, to be someone else." 

"It takes you out of your comfort zone and that's when you are most yourself."

"It opens your eyes and minds to different worlds, and once you've experienced that sensation, it's hard to let that go."

"I love trying different food."

So whatever the reason, one thing is for sure – once you've got the travel bug, it's hard to shake it off.

Which is why I have always believed that all of us who work in travel should have one over-riding purpose in life – to spread the love of travel.

Other than the altruistic notion that travel spreads peace and understanding – it is Woodstock's 40th anniversary after all – it's also the practical thought that by so doing, we grow our own customer base.

So in my mind, this should be the natural order of things – first, sell the love of travel, second, sell the romance of places and third, sell the experiences of different products and services.

Which is why I particularly like the new ZUJI campaign in Singapore called "Making Holidays Happen" – it's a movement designed to get people off their butts and take that holiday.

Embedded in that campaign is a message that tells people to stop making excuses for not taking a holiday.

According to ZUJI, these excuses range from "I don't like to leave the house empty" to "my parrot gets lonely" to "my children have to study", although I think that Dave alone (the fix-it guy in the video at www.nomoreexcuses.com.sg ) would give me the impetus to get away for a long vacation.

Be that as it may, one of ZUJI's initiatives is to ask people to petition for an extra public holiday – http://sardaukar.mycodebox.com/fpub/petition.aspx

Declares ZUJI, "Let's face it, we all need a break. We think an extra public holiday for Singaporeans would really help morale, productivity, the economy and family values. Here at ZUJI Singapore, we are committed to Helping Holidays Happen. We are calling on our fellow Singapore residents to join us in calling for an extra public holiday in Singapore this year!"

When I visited the site, there were more than 3,600 signatures and ZUJI's promising that when it reaches 10,000 signatures, it will be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower. Voting closes on September 13.

Whether MOM will take any notice of it is another thing but good on you, ZUJI, for taking that leap of faith and spreading the love.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com

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