surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

A lesson and an opportunity

The claim that an opportunity comes out of every crisis might work as a pretext for a self-help book, but it appears to be a terrible fallacy if the books we're looking at are history ones.

The crises that humanity has been through since records began have been for the majority of people no more than scenes of losses and collective dramas. The current crisis, which affects the entire planet, will be no different.

Another thing entirely is whether the months that have just gone and the ones to come make us aware of the need for change, not just to adapt to the new scenario - which no one can say yet what it will be like - but also, above all, to teach us lessons that will allow us to look at the future in a different way.

The previous crisis, still fresh in our memories, had elements we could learn from - which doesn't mean to say we have done. It ought to have taught us that uncontrolled economic growth based on bricks and mortar and disproportionate debt amounts to a feast today and famine tomorrow. The current situation, which has affected all sectors but very especially tourism, has shown the risks of "single-crop" economies.

But the pandemic has also had another effect: the changes that were already affecting humanity in terms of people being able to work remotely have accelerated to create a new scenario that is not provisional, but irreversible.

For towns and cities well-known for their high quality of living, as is the case of Marbella, this new scenario offers an opportunity to forge a niche, not just among leading destinations for tourism or even residential tourism, where it already is, but also as a place of residence in a world where working anywhere but the office will be more and more common.

An opportunity arising does not necessarily mean that it will be seized. That will need a strategy that someone ought to be already working on.