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After two years of putting travel on the back burner, travel agents are noticing that clients are more eager than ever to book bucket list type of destinations.
“People are looking at taking those once-in-a-lifetime adventures,” Sue Flemming, an adventure travel specialist with Janes Worldwide Travel in Edmonton, Alta., tells Travel Courier. “I think we have all realized that the gift of our life on this planet is finite and we need to make the most of it while we are still able to.”
Similarly, at Marlin Travel/Travel n Style Boutique in Peterborough, Ont., owner Mary Larocque is also finding small group tours and bucket list trips to destinations like Kenya and the Galapagos are appealing to travellers.
“We’re also seeing several customers doing river cruises to exotic destinations and making long range plans into 2023,” she says. “Family vacations and all-inclusive vacations tend to be booking well into the later part of 2022.”
Notably, Shannon Graves of Charrisma Travel is reporting that clients are also paying more and planning earlier to secure these trips.
“I am seeing a lot of bucket trips being booked with a sense of urgency,” she says. “I have many big trips already booked for the coming month from Tahiti to Machu Picchu to multi–European itineraries.”
For Lesley Keyter, CEO of The Travel Lady Agency in Calgary, Alta., cruise bookings are making a strong comeback.
“People are going for longer trips and higher category staterooms,” she notes. “I have had clients tell me that they’ve gone without travel for two years and they don’t have an infinite amount of time left so they are going to go big in their travel plans.”
With many clients having stayed closer to home during the pandemic, Jennifer McPherson, Turnkey Travel, Dundas, Ont., is also seeing a trend for longer trips — and that insurance is now part of every booking.
“People want and are willing to pay for safety right now so destinations that have had higher screening protocols, have been in demand as well as more premium/smaller ship cruising,” she says. “Perhaps insurance was a difficult conversation in the past but now it’s just understood that everyone needs to be fully covered.”