Person at airport waiting for flight

Canadian travel retailers are reporting soaring numbers of international travel  bookings, with numbers increasing every month. 

According to a report from The Canadian Press on CP24, Flight Centre reported a nearly 20 per cent increase in bookings in April compared to the previous month.

Allison Wallace, a spokeswoman with Flight Centre is quoted saying, “In the last month, just because the vaccine rollout has really picked up, there’s a lot of inquiry, and people are starting to book for that fall, winter and into early 2022 period.”

However, the report notes that experts and travellers say that the one thing holding travellers back from taking trips is Canada’s requirement around quarantine hotels for returning travellers.

Richard Vanderlubbe, President of tripcentral.ca, says he believes that as cases drop sharply and vaccination efforts pick up, there will be many more people willing to book a trip. 

“They are so itching to go, as soon as anything lets up on those restrictions, boom, there’ll be some demand,” he was quoted saying.

As reported by Open Jaw, the expert panel that advises the federal government on COVID-19 matters said Thursday that Canada should scrap its mandatory three-day hotel quarantine for returning travellers. 

The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Canada’s largest air carriers, welcomed the panel’s advice, and also asked for personal quarantine periods to be reduced from 14 days to seven. In response to this, Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the government needs time to consider and discuss the request with provinces before making a decision. They were not able to give a timeline for when a decision regarding hotel quarantines would be made by the federal government. 

The report continues, “Both Vanderlubbe and Wallace say most of the bookings they’re seeing are for Mexico and the Caribbean in autumn and winter, as well as for Europe later in 2022. They say most travellers are hoping that many COVID-19 restrictions will have been scaled back by then,” with Vanderlubbe adding that there could be a last-minute `flash’ of demand in August for European destinations as well if restrictions ease before the summer break is over.

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