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With hotel quarantine and travel restrictions easing up, the long-awaited rebound in bookings is finally underway for travel advisors across the country.
“It’s like the ‘Time to Plan a Holiday’ heavens have opened up! The phone is ringing and the email box is active with new inquiries again,” Tammy Prost, the owner of Regina, Sask.-based Tropical Escapes Destination Weddings and Travel tells Travel Courier. “It is exciting and gives me goosebumps talking to clients about their travel plans. In the last two weeks alone, I have been the busiest I have been in over a year with new bookings and lots of inquiries coming in. It is such an amazing feeling to have two new destination wedding groups and six holiday packages on the books.”
Meanwhile, Laurie Keith, the owner of Boutique Travel Services based out of Hamilton, Ont. who specializes in niche travel markets including destination weddings, family holidays, luxury trips and adventure, is not only starting to see new bookings for the first time in months, but is also “flabbergasted at the amount of high-end bucket-list trips that are booking right now.”
In fact, the Ensemble Travel Group member is quoting eight leads alone on Hurtigruten’s Pole to Pole 93-day expedition cruise for 2022, which is priced at US$61,000 per person.
“We’re holding the very last cabin,” she says. “Then the Rivers of the World Cruise with Uniworld in 2023 is a hot item with only two cabins left and it’s not set to sail for another two years! It’s a bit of a frenzy. Yesterday a couple upgraded from their original $2,000 package to a $7,000 package per person equipped with upgraded seats, 5-star resort with private plunge pool suites and more.”
Over the course of the last two weeks Shine Travel’s Pauline Blacoe has booked 12 trips and is in the midst of finalizing another four bookings.
“I truly believe that people are booking because of vaccinations but the recent announcement of the lift of the two-week quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers has brought in even more bookings this week,” she adds.
After an initial peak in bookings and inquiries for a 2022 River Cruise she was marketing in January with 10 bookings, Claire Langan of Claire Langan Travel TPI in Moncton, New Brunswick is again seeing an interest among clients for future travel ranging from young retired clients to seniors and a couple of family requests.
“The last two weeks have picked up and I have had a new inquiry each day and people are scheduling consultations and confirming their 2022 vacations,” she notes. “The inquiries I am getting are all over the place. Caribbean/Mexico for Christmas and Winter 2022. Europe for Spring, Summer & Fall 2022, specifically Ireland, Greece, Italy, UK.”
Similarly, Anne Barclay, the owner of Wanderlust Travel TPI in Oakville, Ont., who saw bookings starting to revive before the most recent lockdown in Ontario kicked in, is again noticing that things are picking up.
“Since January 2021, I’ve been doing a fair amount of travel arrangements for 2022 and a handful of bookings set to travel in Q4 2021,” she says. “Everything from cruise to all inclusive, to UK air only to mother/son getaways. Clients are eager to travel, the hope of restrictions easing and clients being vaccinated are a driving force for ensuring they have their future plans solidified.”
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