Travel advisors are spreading the news: travel is back

Travel advisors are spreading the news: travel is back

TORONTO — Now that eased border measures are on the way, articles are popping up in the consumer media about the strong demand for travel. And that can only help the travel industry.

After two years of travel shaming, especially on social media, now finally people are reading positive reports about other Canadians taking the plunge and booking trips.

The headline for one CBC story reads: ‘Travel agencies flooded with requests after Ottawa says it will drop pre-arrival PCR test for travellers.’

Latitude Concierge Travels owner Shalene Dudley told CBC her “email has blown up” with bookings inquiries and requests from clients since the Feb. 15 announcement.

The new measures, taking effect Feb. 28, 2022, for fully vaccinated travellers, include: the option of antigen tests instead of PCR tests for the pre-arrival testing requirement; a return to randomized on-arrival PCR testing with no isolation while waiting for test results; no isolation requirement for unvaccinated kids under 12 travelling with fully vaccinated adults; and a downgraded travel advisory, to Level 2.

Days before the federal government’s announcement, in an article by The Canadian Press wire service and picked up by the CBC, President Richard Vanderlubbe reported a sharp uptick in call volumes. On Feb. 11 Health Minister Jean-Yves hinted that border measures would be eased in the coming week.

Also in the Canadian Press wire story, Flight Centre spokesperson Allison Wallace said: “We are extremely busy as we’ve seen a significant increase in both inquiries and bookings. Last year … there was a lot more uncertainty around restrictions and border requirements that were changing regularly.”

Travel agents interviewed for the CBC story are also helping to get the word out about the importance of purchasing travel insurance, and about the limited capacity at some top sun destinations. It’s a wake up call for many Canadians looking to get away, that travellers from other markets like the U.S., the UK and Europe are eager to vacation too, and have been booking up the resort space.