Generally speaking, travel advisors say they are having a modicum of success booking destinations closer to home, primarily for 2021.
“My clients are slowly but surely starting to book travel again,” said Jemica Archer of TruBlue Travels. “Most of my clients are looking ahead to 2021. I have a few groups scheduled for Costa Rica and the Caribbean in the first quarter.”
She added, “The Caribbean will always be a favorite and is already starting to see visitors – and [Caribbean destinations] are enforcing entry protocols.”
Holly Lombardo of Classic Travel Advisors, an affiliate of Travel Expert, said that while she’s received some last-minute bookings for summer 2020, “the vast majority” of her clients are rebooking for May 2021 or later.
“I’ve also have had a fair number of clients plan and book vacations only to cancel them within a day or two after having second thoughts,” she said. “One booking was for four couples to New Zealand in February. We placed a deposit and then not one day later they canceled. The increase in (U.S.) COVID infections made them reconsider.”
Going forward, Lombardo said she believes that “the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be the first to thrive. Americans will drive more as they are more assured that there will not be a change in entry requirements. Destinations with vast open spaces and villa rentals will remain popular for years to come.”
Claire Schoeder of Elevations Travel, an affiliate of Signature Travel Network, is booking Mexico resort stays now for late 2020 and winter/spring 2021.
“I have been booking more Mexico than usual, as it seems easier to access than other destinations,” she said.
Schoeder is also booking cruises during the 2020 holiday time frame and for spring 2021.
“Some of my clients are frequent cruisers and are optimistic that things will get better,” she said. “And a couple think that cruising gets more attention for COVID-19 due to the stringent medical reporting that is required of them.”
On the Europe front, while Archer is receiving inquiries for summer 2021, she is not pinning her hopes on a rebound to the destination any time soon.
“I think Europe is going to be a little iffy,” she said, adding that it depends in part on when Americans will be permitted to travel to the destination again.
For her part, Lombardo believes travel will rebound once there is a vaccine or infection rates are extremely low.
“Before we feel confident in traveling fully, we have to be assured of our own health and know that we are not putting others at risk by our actions,” she said.
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