New COVID-19 Protocols Dampen Bookings for Travel Experts

It was starting to look like a better year for host agency Travel Experts’ advisors, but new COVID-19 guidelines could potentially dampen bookings.

Travel Experts reported an increase in bookings in the first month of the new year. However, the new restrictions are having an adverse impact on plans, and clients have started to hold back on booking to see how new regulations affect travel.


“The rush to book for 2021 does not seem to be as strong yet, except for future cruises and rollovers of previously cancelled vacations,” said Sharon Fake, director of operations for Travel Experts.

The host agency’s recent poll of members found that domestic vacations continued to be the most popular among clients. Travel to Europe was followed by interest in trips to Mexico and the Caribbean and Hawaii. Many advisors have said that the majority of their bookings are clients rescheduling canceled 2020 plans.

Trending Now

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Communication with clients has proven key in rebuilding confidence in travel.

“When I shared with some clients my own travel plans and the results of my resort tours and flight experiences, they responded positively,” said Lisa L. Prosser, Chartwell Luxury Travel, Mooresville, Indiana.

Eileen Anderson of Journeys Afar in Raleigh, North Carolina, noted that clients need reassurance.

“I’ve found that being upfront in disseminating information is key to boosting client confidence,” said Anderson. “Reassuring them of my role as information processor and advocate, clients have been overwhelmingly grateful and enthusiastic about future trip decisions.”

Travel advisors have reported that bookings can be at either end of the spectrum.

“Many of my clients are either planning well in advance; for the end of 2021 and into 2022, or actually booking last minute, sometimes as little as a week out, to the destinations that are within the U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean,” said Mallory Shaw of Trouvaille Yacht & Travel in Nashville.

Quarantines and testing have affected some clients’ plans, travel advisors have said.

“I’ve noticed that many of my colleagues have planned first quarter trips for their clients and now have to cancel them because of the new rules for international travel that includes not only the pre- and post- negative tests but also a quarantine upon returning,” said Elaine Carey, Travel Expert in the Pines in Whispering Pines, North Carolina. “This will bring travel down for a long period of time once again as a week’s vacation could turn into a horrid three to five weeks.”

“I believe with the new rules in place on the mandatory quarantine for seven to 10 days and CDC guidelines for double masking will have a negative effect on all travel anywhere, even here in the U.S.,” said Pam Walker of Walker Adventures in Palm Coast, Florida. “We now have to be detectives to be able to provide all the information to our clients. They seem to think they are ‘home free’ after they have the vaccine. Not true, nothing has changed.”

One of the ways that travel advisors are helping clients looking to get away is helping them disseminate information and to provide several options.

“We have some clients who are itching to travel,” said Becky Lukovic of Bella Travel Planning in Alpharetta, Georgia. “They are making cautious, refundable reservations with the hopes it will all work out. In some instances, we have a getaway planned with a backup itinerary also planned in case the rules change significantly.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>