As Canada’s vaccination rates climb, so does travel booking confidence.
That’s what some of Canada’s travel advisors are reporting – so much so, some industry members say it may soon be difficult to book clients into their choice of vacation.
One Vancouver agency manager told CTV, “2022 is getting so that you can hardly find space.”
“Vaccinations made a big difference,” The Travel Group manager Kathy Moore said, “People really want to travel, they want to get out of their homes and on the move.” Their phones started ringing, “as soon as people started to get vaccinated.”
That anecdotal evidence seen across the country’s front lines of travel is supported by what suppliers are seeing behind the scenes.
Flight Centre spokesperson Allison Wallace told CTV the past month has seen a spike in interest and bookings as Canadians see the border opening by the fall.
The company has seen, “a rise in flight bookings to the U.S. for the fall, and (travellers) looking at winter travel to Mexico and the Caribbean,” where group space in particular is filling up fast.
“We’re seeing a lot of competition from the U.S.,” she said. “Think about all of those destination weddings that have been postponed, all of the family reunions.”
She added Flight Centre is also seeing “very strong numbers for 2022” cruise bookings.
Competing for beds is nothing new for Canadian tour operator buyers, who occasionally are left to negotiate for a scare product. When Europeans or Americans travel in volume, pricing goes up and choice product is harder to secure.
Add built-up demand, travel credits burning a hole in consumers’ pockets, and Canada playing catch-up behind faster vaccination rollouts and increasing travel confidence in other countries, and you have a perfect storm of scarcity facing Canadian travel advisors.
Wallace added that the travel scenario will remain potentially volatile in the coming months, so it’s important to consider vaccination and other health requirements as well as change and cancellation policies
While Wallace hails the “optimism that wasn’t there six months ago,” she also provides some advice clients will find useful to share with clients.
“If you want to go, you shouldn’t put it off too long, because then you’ll be very frustrated with trying to book things and not get anything,” she said. “So find flexibility, and book it.”