The Canadian travel industry entered October filled with an abundance of gratitude as our government announced the dropping of travel mandates. This was the news that not only advisors, but travellers as well had been waiting to hear.
Recent months saw an increase in bookings and the latest announcement is giving that an additional boost. Several Independent by Flight Centre (IFC) advisors shared that they have noticed a marked increase in inquiry levels with the removal of restrictions. IFC Advisor David Lyons-Black says there is a clear consensus amongst his clients, “They just want to TRAVEL!!” a sentiment echoed by many.
WHERE people are looking to vacation is another story. The initial wave of travellers chose familiarity with advisors’ reporting clients were looking to travel to Mexico and the Caribbean opting in large measure for all-inclusive properties where they could get away, relax, and let someone else worry about the details.
According to our advisors the latest round of bookings has travellers expanding their range. Travellers are now booking bucket list destinations adopting a “today is someday” attitude, and crossing locations like Iceland, Fiji & the Maldives off their lists.
A trend IFC advisors are seeing is clients booking multiple trips at once, as well as a decline in last-minute vacation bookings. Our advisors have been diligent in educating their clients that while suppliers and airlines are slowly increasing service, more time must pass before they are back to pre-COVID levels.
Lynda Tomilin says her clients have taken that advice to heart with the majority booking well in advance, wanting to ensure they get the destination and trip that they want.
Quite a few clients have expressed sticker shock at some of the pricing. Deb Hilton said that has been the case with some of her travellers. “So many clients are stunned at the prices now, and that there are not as many last-minute deals.”
Through our recent roadshows and supplier trainings we have ensured our advisors have the necessary tools to educate their clients on the reasons behind the increases. They can feel confident in drawing on their expertise and latest industry knowledge utilizing Early Booking Bonuses as well as supplier payment plan options to secure their client their perfect getaway at the best value possible.
If there is one thing that we ALL can agree on, it is that the past few years have taught us the importance of travel. Travel broadens our vision, expands our experiences, and encourages dreams larger than ourselves. It allows us to reconnect with friends, family, and most importantly ourselves. After the past few years of so much separation travellers see the value in that and are embracing the opportunity.
One thing all Travel Advisors have in common this October is the feeling of being thankful. Thankful for the dropping of mandates, thankful for the increase in bookings and thankful to be travelling again. TRAVEL IS BACK!