Then and now: Thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis

Then and now: Thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis

Then and now: Thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis

People love to travel. Many of our agents have told us that their clients have shared with them how much this has made them appreciate that experiences matter more than ‘things’. They say their clients are eagerly planning getaways, in anticipation of when they will be able to reunite with friends and family to create new memories.

The world will adapt to changes in travel because the desire to explore is innate. We know that our industry will rebound and be stronger than ever.

Looking back at the first weeks of this crisis, there’s no question that morale took a dip when we realized the gravity of the situation. After we all took a moment, Independent by Flight Centre and our agents stayed focused on what we needed to do, what we excel at.

For our Agent Care Team that meant reaching out to our agents, ensuring we had the most up to date information easily accessible to them by utilizing our Workplace platform.

For our agents it was, as it always is, taking care of their clients.

We are immensely proud of our Independents, they are the true rock stars in this. They went above and beyond for every one of their clients from handling multiple schedule changes, to cancelling or rescheduling trips, to helping stranded Canadians navigate rapidly changing travel restrictions in order to return home.

In conjunction with our retail & corporate FCTG agents, our Indies were a vital part of helping to bring over 20,000 Canadians home as borders closed around the world.

Morale has improved and there’s a lot of optimism as travel starts to resume slowly, and our agents have been busy! Never ones to miss an opportunity they have been taking part in supplier information sessions as well as connecting via several online social get-togethers organized by our Admin Team ranging from Travel Trivia to scavenger hunts and even a virtual pub crawls. Our Independent Family is incredibly encouraging, helping and motivating each other throughout this.

As for travel now, it’s summer in Canada! In uncertain times it’s in people’s nature to stick close to home. With the border to the U.S. still currently closed, people are inclined to take the opportunity to explore their own backyards. We still need to be aware and respectful of the guidelines and restrictions for different communities and provinces.

My own first trip will most likely be close to home, exploring the beauty of the Muskokas with the family, soaking up every minute of our precious Canadian summer. A little further ahead I would love to plan a getaway for my hubby and me to Iceland. I love my kids, but four months of homeschooling and quarantining has me looking forward to some alone time!

We have started to see some additional destinations like Mexico and several Caribbean islands re-open their borders to travellers, but international will be slower as there are multiple factors to consider ranging everywhere from airline schedules to travel advisories from the respective governments.

One thing this has highlighted is the importance of having an experienced travel advisor in your corner. Some people get caught in the trap of thinking booking travel is easy when they’re lucky enough to have a trip where everything goes according to plan. However, this pandemic truly proved the value of working with an experienced travel agent.

Clients realize the best person to help them navigate changing travel restrictions, new procedures, insurance coverage and supplier safety protocols is a travel professional.

A huge thank you to our Independent agents and the amazing customer service that they provided their clients when they needed them the most. We are so proud to have each of them as part of our FCTG family.

Get travel news right to your inbox!