Home Travel consultant Surge in COVID-19 cases has holidaymakers in Kerala very concerned

Surge in COVID-19 cases has holidaymakers in Kerala very concerned

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The third wave of COVID-19, triggered by the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, is disrupting the travel plans of business people and holidaymakers in Kerala.

With the uncertainty looming, families who had previously booked plane tickets to travel abroad have canceled or postponed their trips. “I was planning to visit my daughter in the UK this month. But the spike in positive cases has changed my plans for April,” said Beena Thomas, a retired teacher.

Travel agents have confirmed that advance bookings have dropped by nearly 50% and open bookings by 25%. “The cancellations are mainly due to the stricter testing standards and quarantine rules,” said T. Hameed, a travel consultant in Kozhikode.

Usually, ticket reservations for Gulf Cooperation Council countries for summer holidays start from January. Many who had already booked flights to visit the ongoing Expo 2020 in Dubai are also confused. Some have canceled or postponed their tickets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The peak of winter tourism is in full swing in Dubai. Millions of people have visited the national pavilions since the expo started on October 1 last year,” said Vinod Nair, an NRI. Travelers hope expo organizers will extend the global event beyond March 31 given the pandemic situation. Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the UAE, more than 10 million people have visited the exhibition so far.

Many travelers are also concerned that airlines will raise fares following fluctuating travel restrictions. International flights were to resume from December 15. Now, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has maintained the suspension of international commercial passenger flights until January 31. However, the DGCA clarified that the restriction will not apply to IT-approved flights and international cargo operations.