Travel agents are still in their offices despite most planes remaining on the ground.
“Since March, we’ve been doing very few new bookings,” says the owner of Canada One Travel, Andy Ling, “but we have been doing a lot of cancellations, changes, and have helped people with their insurance claims.”
Ling says that business has picked up a little, but it will not be viable until non-essential travel bans are lifted along with self-isolation bans.
“Even within Canada, if we go to Ontario and return, we have to go into isolation for 14 days, so that is a deterring factor.”
And even there, Ling explains, that they can only book those that qualify for essential travel. “We have arranged for some emergency cases. Someone was ill in the US and we arranged for them to get there, but of course this is not a pleasure trip.”
Ling believes the aftermath of the pandemic may have travelers choosing to work with agents instead of doing things on their own because of all the new restrictions and uncertainty surrounding travel.
“The flights are very limited and airfare has also jumped very high,” informs Ling of the current travel climate. “Those flights will come back with time but, the recovery period, we don’t expect it to be short.”
Ling admits the last six months were difficult and is not sure what his industry will look like if it persists for another six months.
“We can only be hopeful,” he offers. “We just maintain our position continuing research and watching trends.”