Similarly, Kyle Matheson, an Expedia Cruises franchise owner in Richmond, B.C., is also seeing a trend in longer bookings, with average length of trips going from 7.5 to over 11 nights.
“We’re also seeing people plan further out and they’re buying up,” he says. “If it was going to be an inside cabin, they’re going for balconies now. Also, [we’re] seeing a bit of a buy-in for extending their family.”
Whereas previously only a set couple embarked on the cruise, he says they’re now bringing their sons and daughters and their kids along.
“[They’re] saying if we haven’t been able to see each other in a year and a half, let’s all go together on a big trip,” he reports. “Also, the destinations are much more broad and really deeper into the exotics from world cruises to South African safaris, we’re really seeing that people are wanting to celebrate travel and really get back out there.”
Although many clients are booking in advance for 2022 and beyond, Matheson says last-minute bookings are also picking up now that a growing number of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
With a plethora of information to stay on top of, he also believes the value of using a travel advisor will continue to be at the forefront.
“This is the day of the travel professional,” Matheson says, noting that he foresees even those who previously booked travel on their own will be drawn to the services of an expert. “I really mean it when I say this is the age of the travel professional. Going from travel agent to travel consultant is not just a naming of what we do. It’s getting deeper into things and planning their travel journey and not just this journey but over their lifetime.”