What’s next? Be patient, better times are on the way
The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND)
Who really knows.
If you had said to me in April that we would still be in this mess 9 months later I would have said NO WAY.
It will be like SARS or any other viral outbreak and we will be past the worst of it in 3 to 4 months, tops.
I guess this time the experts were a 100% correct and then some.I hear people talking about travel not getting back to 2019 numbers until 2024 or 2025, I just cannot see it taking that long. I don’t know anybody who is talking about waiting that long to travel, do YOU?
I could be very wrong or just very optimistic but I truly believe that based on the success with the vaccines out there now, the government looking at how well the program in Alberta is going and with the way our bookings are looking for 2021, that the third or fourth quarter of 2021 will be good. Like 2019 good.
One concern is how will the supplier play this. Will they charge everyone through the nose because the clients have a voucher and they KNOW the clients have to use them or lose them, so they double the package prices? We know the hotels will for sure raise rates — but the reality is that it is the air lift that will matter the MOST — and with so many seats having left the market, who knows what the capacity will be going into winter 2021-2022.
The same goes for the cruise lines, the number of ships being taken out of service OR the cruise lines just closing down, how will the cruise lines’ pricing compare to previous years?
When you look at river cruises, it seems by far the majority of the river companies will still be around. This is good news as this will help retain the capacity and hopefully keep prices down, time will tell.
Nobody knows right now which supplier companies will be left standing in 2021 and that will have an effect on the availability of product.
There is a lot of speculation when it comes to what kind of trips people will take or not take. The reality is nobody knows – we will find out in the coming year.
I just hope we can continue to attract NEW travel agents because COVID-19 has put a dent in the number of travel agents who have stayed around.
The retail landscape will be different, for sure a lot less storefronts will be standing, and let’s just hope the travel agents who worked for these closed agencies will stay in travel.
Working from home is not for everyone, but we cannot afford to lose all these experienced, talented travel agents.
One key to the travel agent’s success in the future is to make sure we build in terms and conditions that ensure agents will make money EVEN if the files get cancelled.
But if we cannot rely on suppliers to allow agents to keep their commission on cancelled files, then service fees are something all travel agents should be looking at more seriously.
We all know that NO OTHER professional would work for free, WHY DO TRAVEL AGENTS?