Travel Agent Appreciation

Nine Months Later …

The Struggles And Triumphs Of Being A Travel Agent During The Pandemic

From commission recalls to cancelled bookings to endless hours on hold, the last nine months have certainly taken a toll on travel agents. But despite the setbacks and challenges, many in the travel industry are weathering the storm in anticipation of a brighter tomorrow. Travel Courier chats with three travel professionals to get a sense of how business is going, what’s getting them through this challenging time and why they’re optimistic about the future.

As a travel agent, Rosie Darosa of TravelOnly With Rosie Darosa in Thunder Bay, Ont., says the lack of direction from the government has made it incredibly difficult to run a successful business during the pandemic.

“There has been no guidance on when they expect things to open. Basically, we have just been left hanging and trying to figure out: should we book? Should we wait?” Darosa tells Travel Courier when asked what she wants to vent about. “It’s the lack of direction from the Government, and their seeming unwillingness to investigate any option at all for reopening travel, i.e. rapid testing, etc. until just recently.”

Darosa says one of the most challenging parts of being a travel advisor right now is dealing with the ongoing uncertainty and not being able to guarantee clients a smooth, hassle-free experience.

“And, of course, the 14-day quarantine as it is next to impossible to book anything for anyone if they have to take 21 days off to have a seven-day vacation,” she says. While the solution is for clients to stay at home and experience Canada, domestic bookings come with another set of challenges.

“With the frequent schedule changes, the open and closing of things, the new rules that come and go, the climbing numbers, that is almost impossible as well and I have had several clients with numerous schedule changes before they leave, which is frustrating as you are repeating the same work over again, and often, they have to change their travel dates by a day or two,” she says.

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