While not all countries take the same approach, Sheppard says his industry is still affected by some of the actions taken in Canada.
August 9 marks the day fully vaccinated American travelers will be allowed entry into Canada. Currently, Canadians returning from travel must not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and must adhere to all federal COVID-19 checklists. If these requirements are not met, travelers will not be allowed on return flights to the country.
With travelers at risk of being denied a return flight until they can prove they don’t have COVID-19 or undergo a 14-day quarantine, Sheppard believes many people aren’t willing to risk being stranded in a foreign country for longer than their requested time.
âI think when Canada lifts the restrictions a bit more for people coming in, and even us coming back home, it will be a huge difference. But at the moment, we don’t know what can happen. Things may change again by the fall.
âI have varying degrees of what people think. Some are just more careful, others are just willing to travel no matter what. They will go through all the required protocols and tests. They think if they are vaccinated it will be fine, and they will go ahead and continue just to have a vacation.
To help counter this risk, many travel agencies, including Travel Escapes, offer COVID-19 coverage in the event of an individual contracting the virus. Some also offer the option of an extended period during which people can cancel or change their travel plans.
âOne good thing companies do to get business is to give leniency to reservations. Allowing people to be able to change or cancel up to 25 days before departure is a huge piece of peace of mind for people who want to book and know that you are not going to waste your money or your investment in your vacation.
The entire travel industry having taken a hit in the past year and a half, Sheppard added that the slight increase in business brought by travelers less concerned about risk offered a sign of relief. Many in the industry hope this trend will continue.
âFor travel agents across the country, this has been a difficult task. A lot of businesses and agencies have closed because there is nothing to sell, but it’s the same as the airlines and the whole tourism industry that have been thrown into such chaos. Nothing has happened in a whole year, and I think we’re just starting to see a comeback now. “
On Twitter: @ElliottKnopp