I wrote a RoxStars column on April 27 last year – an indication of quite how long foreign travel has effectively been in purgatory – analysing what to do about suspended press trips (group or private). The advice was to “wait and see”, hoping that the options would soon become clearer.
In a sense, they did: on most of my suspended trips, there was ultimately no option to take them last summer. This summer, with European countries’ case numbers likely to drop as ours currently are, plus vaccination programmes having begun in earnest, plus the comforting experience of a Covid-stable summer behind us, there’s a better chance that I’ll be able to proceed. And ditto other travel journalists on other suspended trips.
The same caveats as last time apply. Does the commission still stand? This, I fear, will be unlikely in many cases: almost all story ideas have shelf lives, and a year is pushing it. And will or can the host(s) still host? Then there are the new issues, concerning whether Brits can enter the country in question, whether the planned visits or activities are currently viable for the journalist, and who’s going to pay for the mandatory PCR test?
Regarding those outstanding trips of mine for which I surmise that the angle is still tenable – one, for instance, is hooked around a film release which itself has been delayed, currently until July – I will be contacting the relevant editors to check the commission’s status. If I get the thumbs-up, I’ll contact the relevant PRs to see what their client(s) think.
If you’re wondering about a suspended trip and haven’t from the relevant journalist, I’d suggest contacting them before asking your client about resurrecting things. It seems to me that plenty of work might be involved from clients in terms of assessing if the trip can still work, can still be supported, etc – while an editor just has to say yay or nay.
“This would be impressive enough anyway – nice images; tempting and unusual new experience; supporting stats – but it becomes trebly so given that Ian Rutter is Casa Higueras’ co-owner, and fits in marketing around everything else.”