Islanders excited about taking trips again, say travel agents

·2 min read
Some international travel could begin as early as this fall. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Some international travel could begin as early as this fall. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

The COVID-19 pandemic has made for a difficult 14 months for travel agents, but two on P.E.I. say they feel the industry is showing signs of life again.

"From February on until now it's been a pretty exciting time," Travis Stewart of the Stewart Travel Group told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

"We're definitely turning the corner and we're seeing a much more positive attitude, and man, is it ever nice to feel that from them and they're excited about booking something."

As recently as January, the future of travel still felt like an unknown to Stewart, but he has much more confidence with calls coming in now.

Paulette Soloman of the Travel Store is also getting more calls, enough to already notice trends.

"We're definitely seeing a bigger interest in places like Europe. People are very interested in river cruises," said Soloman.

River cruises are getting a lot of interest, says Paulette Soloman.
River cruises are getting a lot of interest, says Paulette Soloman.(Laura Meader/CBC)

Stewart said his travel agency, which has offices around the Maritimes, has filled three river boats for 2022.

Soloman said she is expecting international travel to start this fall, and she is already making bookings.

There is still a lot of uncertainty, and people have a lot of questions, and Stewart admits there are not a lot of answers. For the most part, however, he is finding people are understanding of that.

It's a good feeling to hear people excited about booking a trip, says Travis Stewart.
It's a good feeling to hear people excited about booking a trip, says Travis Stewart.(Laura Meader/CBC)

"Things might change and that's OK. We've kind of learned how to roll with things," he said of people's experience of the last year.

Both Soloman and Stewart said travel companies are offering discounts, flexibility, and offers with lower deposits to lure people back into travel, and they expect those will continue for some time.

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