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Travel Industry Seeing Signs Of Life As People Crave Vacation

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After two months of staying quarantined at home to limit the spread of coronavirus, people  have been antsy to get out of the house and travel.

Hannah Robinson has packed and prepared for a Utah staycation over the summer. Her family decided to head south, without leaving the state. It’s a far cry from the trip to California they had been planning, but it’s still getting out, and the 12-year-old said she was excited.

As KSL-TV has reported, the travel industry has taken it on the chops. Tourism dollars have dried up with everyone staying safe and staying home.

Larry Gelwix from Columbus Travel said people are anxious to get back out.

“People are ready to get going,” Gelwix said.

Of 200 people surveyed by Columbus Travel, 61 percent indicated they’d travel by this fall.

Asked where they would go, 36 percent said a beach vacation. Number two was a cruise vacation. Number three was international travel, believe it or not.

“Over half reported that they were likely or very likely to travel internationally,” Gelwix said.

He believed the sanitation steps being taken by airlines, hotels, cruise ships and others are putting folks at ease.

Creditcards.com also conducted a survey and found people who have cancelled trips are having a hard time getting a full refund.

“Only 30 percent of people got all their money back,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

Rossman said it could actually be a really good time to plan something for the future. Airlines and hotels have obviously been hurting for business, and they’ve adapted their cancellation policies making it much easier to cancel, he said.

“It’s actually a great thing, I think partly for your mental health and partly for your wallet also, that maybe you try to get a trip on the horizon for the fall or the winter,” Rossman said. “As long as you know that you’re protected by that ironclad cancellation or change policy, there’s really minimal risk there.”

That’s advice travel agents can certainly get behind.

Gelwix said that for the first time in several weeks, his operators have been busy booking future travel. In fact, bookings for Spring of 2021 are ahead of where they were for Spring 2020, before the virus was a thing.

For those willing to gamble, the real steals will be this year.

“The best deals are 2020 – not 2021,” he said.

Beyond getting sick, there is a real concern of travel interruption including cancelled flights or getting sick while away and being unable to get home.

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