Travel agents are nimble thinkers and highly adaptable to new challenges. And while the coronavirus pandemic and the fallout for the travel industry are testing the retail travel industry’s resolve and resources like never before, the current crisis won’t get the best of us, says Heather Baker, Director of Acquisitions & Social Media for host agency Independent by Flight Centre.
Baker has been with Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) since 1999. “I’ve seen my fair share of things in the industry [but] this is definitely one for the record books,” she says.
Asked how Independent by Flight Centre has been managing these past couple of weeks, Baker had this to say …
“Unprecedented is a word that has been used quite frequently over the past few weeks in our industry and it’s with good reason.
“I can’t recall another event that has impacted our industry on such a global level before, across all disciplines, travel agents, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and more.
“Independent by Flight Centre utilized our Workplace platform to ensure our Independent Contractors were up to date with all the latest airline waivers, supplier changes and border closures which enabled them to inform and advise their clients with the most recent travel advisories.
“While we do have a rough road ahead it has been nothing short of inspiring to see our Independent family sharing resources, information, offering assistance to each other’s clients all with one common goal: making sure all of our clients were looked after, and where possible, returned home quickly and safely to Canada.
“Given the nature of their business, our agents were able to move quickly to respond to their client’s needs as they were already set up to conduct business remotely, and were not impacted by sudden closures of malls or retail spaces.
“We know there will undoubtedly be some difficult times ahead but it is in people’s DNA to want to explore, to travel and we are committed to being there for our Indies, their clients and, our preferred suppliers to ensure we come out the other side together, stronger.
“Our mission has always been to open the world for those that want see it, to chase their dreams, and when it is safe to do so again, we will be here to help our clients plan their next adventure and make their travel dreams a reality.”