TORONTO — Family travel’s recovery may be slower than other markets but momentum is growing, and things will really take off here in Canada once young kids ages five and under get the green light for their COVID vaccinations.
That said, there are all sorts of different types of families to sell travel to right now, and travel advisors in Canada as well as the U.S. are getting more inquiries and bookings for everything for multi-get families to parents with older kids, according to feedback at the 2022 Family Travel Xpo.
The online event, part of an ongoing series, was presented yesterday by XpoPRO Mobile, a division of TravPRO Mobile. Sessions included Family Fun in Emerging Destinations, Travel Advisor Tips & Trends, Sustainable Family Destinations and more.
There was also a session featuring sponsor BabyQuip, which agents can use to secure baby equipment rentals in-destination for their clients, to eliminate the hassle of travelling with all the gear babies and toddlers need.
Taking part in the Travel Advisor Tips & Trends was Amy Urquhart, a travel advisor with Pure Magic Vacations. While the Canadian retailer specializes in Disney, it’s a full-service agency. Esther Teodoro, chief curator with Famventure in the U.S. was also on the panel, moderated by David Kartagener.
Urquhart says she got a few trips of her own in during the October – December 2021 pandemic lull, but then omicron hit.
However 2022 has been a much better start to the year than 2021, and Urquhart says she’s “finally feeling like I have a full-time job again” thanks to all the inquiries and bookings coming in. “It’s giving me hope for 2022,” she says.
Kartagener asked Urquhart about booking trends, including booking windows. “I’m seeing more people who are ready to travel now. They don’t want to plan for a year, they want to go now. That’s really nice to see.”
Urquhart also said she’s hearing from customers who in the past may have booked with OTAs or deals sites.
“Now they’re saying, we really want to work with someone we can have a personal conversation with. It’s definitely a positive change for the industry.”
Says Dean Jacobberger, Vice President, XpoPRO Mobile: “Family Travel will be the fastest-growing segment in 2022 and we were glad to see the advisors’ enthusiasm in joining our second Family Travel Xpo. Industry experts addressed trends for 2022 and beyond as well as fundamental topics for the future of the industry such as sustainability. The feedback from the event has been phenomenal and advisors were pleased to be introduced to our sponsor, BabyQuip, the number one baby equipment rental service that simplifies travelling with little ones.”
This latest edition of the Family Travel Xpo is available on demand for the next month. For details see familytravelxpo.com.