Will journey return in 2021?
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – The past year has been incredibly difficult for many companies, but the travel industry has had some of its toughest hits with thousands of trips canceled. It’s a dire straits for many KELOLAND businesses and travelers, both of whom are hoping that holidays will return to normal in 2021.
“You are very hopeful, you are ready to travel,” said Lorie Buus of All About Travel.
All About Travel is seeing a fresh rush of requests from people wanting to book a vacation in the New Year.
“I think those of us in the Midwest have to travel. That gets us through the winter most of the time,” Buus said.
“Just to go south to Mexico for a while,” said Jeff Ollerich of Sioux Falls.
Ollerich is still working on booking a trip to Cabo this month.
“I was worried early on that I wouldn’t be able to go, but now it’s open and there are no restrictions on coming to Mexico so I can go back and soak up some sun,” said Ollerich.
Travel advisor Lorie Buus says Mexico was one of the first countries to lift travel restrictions, and many people in the Midwest are taking advantage of this.
“There are some great deals out there, I have several couples going to the Riviera Maya in February with some really good deals,” Buus said.
But even with the additional incentives, travel is still far in decline in the first quarter of the new year.
“I can already say that it will not be a normal year. Until September, the year before a travel year, most of our January, February and March are fully booked, ”said Buus. “It’s really easy right now.”
Buus and others in the travel industry are confident that widespread use of the vaccine will improve business over the course of this year.
“To see things get back to a little bit normal, I think it will be later in 2021, maybe even in 2022,” Buus said.
It’s a difficult prospect for All About Travel. Income has dropped nearly 60 percent and the workload has increased. The agents have been busy helping clients cancel and rebook vacations for the past year.
“I booked some of them four times and they still haven’t traveled,” said Buus.
Buus expects a busy season towards the end of 2021, with many people having to claim their travel vouchers.
“If they canceled in 2020, most of them have until 2021 to get something in the books. In many cases, this means they could travel for many companies in 2022 as well, ”said Buus.
If you have a travel voucher, read the details carefully as every company has different deadlines and rules. If you are booking a vacation for this year, Buus strongly recommends getting travel insurance with a cancellation policy for any reason.