Jill Wykes is a travel industry veteran who has held a series of senior management portfolios in travel corporations. A former chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, she is now an independent communications consultant and writer since retiring in 2011.
Canada seems to be entering a second wave of COVID-19 and many restrictions remain in place that are hampering the travel industry’s efforts to start up again. This has left most agents with time on their hands.
Travel agencies have been hit hard by the pandemic and are having to cut costs in order to survive. One option has been to join a host agency – but it does not have to mean giving up their storefront or branding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of us to change how we live and work. For many, adapting to working from home was a challenge at first — everything from IT issues to finding a suitable workspace in our homes to boosting our Internet speed.
As the travel industry hunkers down to weather this unprecedented time, large and small agency owners have to find every possible way to cut costs. The ongoing cost of things like rent or fees, or employees can be the undoing of a business when revenue isn’t coming in.
This is a very uncertain time for travel agency owners. What is certain is that all the ongoing costs of running an agency don’t go away at a time like this and can be crippling when revenue isn’t coming in.
When and how will tourism rebound? A difficult question because of so many outside factors – when will borders open up and which ones? When and where will airlines operate to again? When will hotels and resorts open up? Will travel insurance be available and when? And of course, when will people feel safe to travel again and where will they want to go?
The travel industry is living through the most precarious period in its history. Many companies may not survive this crisis and some of the most vulnerable in the industry right now are small agencies.
If you are a home-based agent, you probably would like to sell more groups, right? Groups business can be lucrative and although sometimes a lot of work, can really pay dividends in the long run -including those groups becoming repeat business every year.
Agents can now take part in the 2020 National Travel Agent Survey. Offered by Rob Glennie & Associates, the survey covers a broad spectrum of agents, giving an expanded picture of the retail sector of the Canadian travel industry and increasing the value of the survey for agents, suppliers, tourist boards and the industry.
We may love travel, but we also know it’s far from perfect. Sure, some forms of travel make the world a better place, but far too many types hurt more than they help. It’s time we all got together, as travellers, to talk about just that.