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EditorialsUpFront 05/21

UpFront 05/21

Despite the fact that International Day of Happiness is normally celebrated in March, people in the UK could be forgiven for thinking it was actually May 17th this year. With a boost to confidence and the economy, pubs and restaurants opened to welcome guests. And although crowds didn’t particularly overwhelm the hospitality industry, smiling and emotional hugging was certainly in evidence, while masks off in an indoor setting did seem to produce an inordinate amount of grinning. Obviously, the answer to whether pub opening will be long-lasting or not is anyone’s guess, but infectious happiness certainly makes a nice change from anything else infectious. One observer suggested that May 17th should be declared a national Hospitality Day of Happiness. However, that’s a title that might have big boots to fill. Originally initiated by the United Nations, the aim of International Day of Happiness is ‘to promote happiness as a universal goal and aspiration in the lives of human beings around the world.’ It was launched to try to inspire people to be positive and to spread that attitude wherever possible. As well as endless happiness workshops, happiness coaching, a world summit, and even a world happiness festival, there were initiatives like the one promoted by a web hosting company that launched the ‘Happiest Website Ever—Guaranteed to Make you Smile.’ It offered images of people smiling; cute puppy and kitten videos; sunny skies; sunsets; pictures of food; a crackling fireplace and even photographs of elderly couples looking happy—this last one ranked number eight in a survey of 2,000 people about what in life brings them the most happiness and joy. And just in case those options didn’t work, there was also a page that flashed happy comments to the reader such as: ‘You look great today’; ‘You light up the room’ and of course the ubiquitous ‘You are awesome!’ Perhaps a pub chain will make beer mats promoting Hospitality Day of Happiness with little slogans like: ‘You look great! You’ll look even better after another beer’ or ‘Light up the room. Buy one for everyone!’ Whatever the occasion, there will always be room for positive thought—and an opportunity to help boost the economy.

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