The world as we knew it is no longer. Nothing in our lives will ever be the same again – in our personal lives, in the business world, and on a global scale. The Coronavirus has infected planet earth and has taken so much from the human race in such a short space of time. The damage it has done – the loss of income, revenue, pro ts, development and alas, our freedom – is incomprehen- sible. It will take the world and its economy forever to recover.

But this is nothing new to our race – we’ve been plagued before by worse diseases – and we have survived. Even if it meant changing the way we lived and did business. And we will do it again! We will strategise, improvise, customise, reorganise and innovate – all in aid of a very di erent and new NORMAL.

Sadly, for us, two of the worst-hit industries in the pool of casualties are that of tourism and the media – both the industries in which Explore South Africa operates. Our industries will most likely be of the last to re-open during level two or even one.

However, while many of our fellow agencies in the media (not being sure for how long they would not be able to trade) have opted to close their doors before they incurred further losses, the Explore team decided not to throw in the towel that easily. We had the need to be one step ahead – our rationale?

We have survived a few terrible recessions and set-backs over the past 18 years – on an economic level, far worse than this. We have survived it. And we will do it again! For those willing to roll up their sleeves and chase their next business moves, it will become a brave new world and we want to be part of it. So we have taken the big step to switch from print to digital and going forward Explore will no longer exist in print format.

Where in the past the old school journo in me was pro- print, I sing a very di erent song today. There has never been a better time than now to embrace the digital printing space, as the way the world communicates has changed forever.

Never before have so many people been more media savvy and never before have we instantly consumed such quantities of information than right now with the incredible hunger for information regarding the state we nd ourselves in.

We have moved from the invention of the printing press in the mid-15th century, the production of print newspapers and magazines, to online websites and eventually a world where everything pretty much happens online via social media, with an app available for everything imaginable.

Our bold new format will allow us to make use of multi- media elements such as video and audio, thus enhancing our o ering to readers and advertisers alike. It will empower us to be to become even more informative, more interactive, more industry savvy and much, much more exciting. This new digital magazine will also become a great platform for cross-selling.

By going digital, we will extend the reach of the publica- tion from a print version distributing 10 000 hard copies to decision-makers from all sectors in tourism and government to an online fully digital o ering that will reach more than 100 000 in uential readers globally.

In history, great innovations in technology and change (as scary and overwhelming as it might been at that time) have more often than not been the heroes of turbulent times. It is now such times.

The team and I thank you for supporting Explore magazine over the years. As we move from print to digital and mark the end of an era, we see so many more opportunities in many di erent forms that will be great for business for us and everyone involved and we look forward to many more mutually bene cial endeavours.

The sky is now the limit. Let’s explore it together!

Lindsay

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