Should I stay or should I go now?
Agents discuss travelling during the pandemic
Tannis Dyrland is about to set off on her first international trip since the pandemic hit.
The Owner / Travel Consultant behind Travel With Tannis with The Travel Agent Next Door in Calgary, Alberta is taking off to the Grand Moon Palace in order to gain firsthand experience of all the ways travel has changed over the past nine months.
“I have chosen to travel because the safety measures in place are stringent and I feel confident taking my family on trip to a place that I know will consider our safety,” Dyrland tells Travel Courier. “I think it is responsible as a travel advisor who is promoting the YYC Rapid testing to actually experience the project first hand. Responsible reporting creates trustworthy awareness for our clients.”
As a travel consultant, she feels a sense of responsibility to walk the talk when it comes to promoting safe travel.
“I promote travel as an opportunity for those who feel comfortable doing so and also it provides an opportunity for education,” she says. “To be able to showcase to my clients and others who are interested, to be able to vlog the experience still promoting the use of mask wearing, social distancing and sanitizing. Everyone has struggled this year, and what was months has led to almost a year, I think people are looking for hope and possibly something to look forward to.”
Dyrland says clients are travelling again, and she witnessed an uptick in bookings after rapid testing was announced in Calgary.
“Over the past month I’ve had clients in the US, vacationing in Mexico and some have gone to Hawaii,” she says. “Ensuring they follow protocols in destination is something that I will do upon arrival, I think that is always our job as travellers.”
Dyrland will also be taking part in a trip to Costa Rica in January with Costa Rica Tourism.
“I never dreamed that travel could be taken away from me, this year it was. And now I have an opportunity to escape with my family, knowing that I am going to a place who puts safety first,” she explains. “I’m not sure what the difference would be if I was stuck in my house in the winter time or if I was lounging in the sunshine beside a pool. All the same protocols will be in place and we have insurance now to protect ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Rhonda Dashevsky points out that there are certainly varied views on the question of ethics in travelling during a pandemic.
“I also believe that those views change for everyone including travel advisors depending on the current situation and state of the pandemic for wherever you are from and where your clients want to go,” Dashevsky tells Travel Courier. “Quite frankly, it has not been easy to send anyone anywhere as most places are closed to visitors, you need a certified negative COVID test or people are not able to take a vacation and then spend 14 days in quarantine. The latter is something we hear most often.”
When it comes to booking travel right now, the travel specialist with Personal Travel Management in Burnaby, BC believes in giving clients all of the information regarding entry, what is expected when they are there like wearing masks at all times and what the airlines, hotels and tours are doing to protect clients from getting COVID.
“My feeling is that clients are adults and, if given all the information that they require, they are able to make a decision that they are comfortable with for themselves and their families,” she says. “As long as clients are armed with facts, they need to be able to make their own decisions.”
That said, she says there is no hard sell right now, and the agency if opting to stay in touch with clients through emails and phone calls.
“We really believe that people love to talk about travel, love to travel and love to remember their travels. Travel gives us so much,” she says. “The more you see of the world, the more compassion, understanding and hope you have for the future and for other people in general.”