Tour Operators Say Delta Hurt But Fear Death Blow From Omicron

As bad as 2021 was for travel, tour operators say that 2022 could be worse due to the new Omicron variant. As reported by Skift, the variant has not only forced numerous trip cancellations but halted last-minute bookings many tour operators were expecting. For companies still struggling with recovery, Omicron and the potential for new variants may be too much for some operators to hang on. “Prior to (Omicron), it felt like we were moving in a steady, linear trajectory towards a return to travel and greater freedom to explore,” said Jim Eite, the U.K.-based global commercial director of Exodus Travels. “But (the new variant) has delayed that.” He continued, saying: “It has created uncertainty in all markets — will there be more lockdowns, change in entry, will I not be able to travel, etc. Our feeling is that it has pushed the market back two to three months.”

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