Midnight Musings from our CEO
I was both honoured and grateful to have been invited by the Outlook Group, in partnership with such organizations such as Incredible India, to participate and speak at India’s Outlook Responsible Tourism Summit and Awards event held this past week in New Delhi.
It was my first time in India and it was truly a full sensory experience. I could not have been more warmly welcomed, nor found a more gracious and engaging people whether through interacting in meetings or those on the streets.
For very good reason this great place is branded ‘Incredible’ and if you have never had the opportunity to travel to this country, it is a destination you should try not to miss.
While being there alone was very special, it has been a life long dream of mine to visit the Taj Mahal and I was fortunate that during this quick trip it was able to happen. This Mausoleum is considered one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the world and in 2007 was named the winner of the New Seven Wonders of the World (2000-2007). It was commissioned and construction started in 1631 by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, following the death of his beloved wife shortly after giving birth to their 14th child. The building took 12 years to complete and the gardens another 5, but without question, as you experience it today, centuries later, you can feel the enormity of care and thought that went into its creation. As the story is told and as is apparent when you are there, the Emperor poured his heart and soul into it, intending to create a symbol of their life, love, and marriage and intentionally designed to both celebrate and share their story with the generations that would follow.
It made me wonder, when did we stop making wonders, pushing our limits and not settling for just enough? How do we challenge ourselves to think more long term as we build the legacy of our tourism industry, products, and experiences? How do we change our mindset from a disposable society to one that appreciates and wants to be part of history, culture, and generational thinking?
One step for the Thompson Okanagan is the commitment to the regional tourism pledge entitled “7 Affirmations for 7 Generations.” It is a small step down that path to help broaden how we approach things and pushes us to begin to understand the cause and effect of what happens today and the positive or negative effects for generations to come.
There is nothing wrong with quick thinking and thinking with our heads; it makes us agile, adaptable and strong. But what if we combine that with thinking into the future by thinking from our hearts — thinking with forethought, passion, and care.
The two together may just make us wiser, cause us to create things that last, that make people think beyond themselves, that may be here long after we are gone. It takes courage and risk to combine these thoughts, of moving away from what is known, what is easy, what is cookie-cutter, but it might just be the recipe for the development of the extraordinary and many, many more wonders in this world to come.
I would also like to make special mention and thank our Royal Roads practicum student Anirudh Kukrety for showing me some of his favourite spots in and around New Dehli. Anirudh was back visiting his family and I really appreciated the local experience and knowledge. We look forward to having him back at TOTA in February.
Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO