Travel agencies recover from pre-pandemic activity thanks to the return of ‘long-distance’ destinations

From the Association of Professional Travel Agencies confirm that America, South America and Africa are doing very well

The revitalization of tourism and the end of anti-pandemic measures have led travel agencies to return to their levels of activity before the health crisis this summer. As Katiana Tour, director of the Association of Professional Travel Agencies (Acave), explained to ACN, the return of “long-distance” trips such as safaris to Africa or to destinations such as the United States has been widely observed.

“America, South America and Africa are doing very well, as well as the Middle East,” highlights the employer representative. The budget available to vacationers also grew, a fact that offset the increase in the cost of some tours due to higher fuel prices, which was especially noticeable in plane tickets.

Another positive byproduct of the overall return to normalcy is the restoration of all jobs frozen or lost during the pandemic. We were the only sector in the economy that had a “red” mechanism approved in March. We asked for it because it was necessary, but the reactivation was so unexpected and fast that very few agencies have this mechanism today,” says Tour.

“Recovering jobs was so important because demand made them necessary,” they highlighted from Acave. In fact, the travel agency sector has recently been affected by the opposite effect: the difficulty of finding work. It is a situation that has also occurred in restaurants and hotels and some businessmen attribute it to the job retraining of many affected by ERTOs during the pandemic.

“There is a return to normalcy in terms of amounts and budgets for travel,” El-Tor summarizes. Companies like Bestours Travels, an agency with thirty years of experience specializing in exotic destinations such as Uganda, New Zealand, the Maldives, Southeast Asia or the United States, express themselves in the same vein. According to the general manager, Julia French, the balance of summer is positive. “Our sales are almost 100% of 2019 sales, and we can talk about 95%,” he revealed to ACN.

“People want a great deal of safety and flexibility. All flights are contracted with the insurance we recommend. Covid has changed that habit for us. Plus flexibility is that there are few penalties if flights are canceled.” In their case, they noted a clear dominance of destinations such as Tanzania, Botswana, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States, which experienced a “brutal” increase. The negative note is Asia, where restrictions still make it difficult to reach destinations such as Japan or China.

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