Even as president of a 96-year-old travel company, Tauck’s Jennifer Tombaugh was caught by surprise multiple times by how much travellers were eager to lock in post-pandemic trips ahead of time.
“We have never seen the level of advance bookings for 2022 than we have right now,” Tombaugh tells Travel Courier. “It really speaks to the pent up demand and that energy that people have to get out and explore the world again.”
Although bookings are not yet at 2019 levels, the resurgence is giving the tour operator hope for the remainder of 2021 as it prepares for a robust year across the board in 2022.
“Vaccications as they were called a few months ago are a real thing,” she says. “We saw that back in April when all of a sudden the volume in our call centre — and this is true for many other tour operators and travel advisors — everybody, at least in the U.S. travel industry, saw a spike in call volumes because all of a sudden people were saying ‘I’m vaccinated, where can I go, when can I go?’”
Notably, she says the bulk of bookings are new and not just guests who are rescheduling previous travel plans.