Tour operators seeing uptick in bookings

Tour operators seeing uptick in bookings

As some countries and states begin easing Covid-19
shutdowns, tour operators say they are seeing renewed interest in travel.

“We went through about five straight weeks of declines in
web traffic,” said Jeff Roy, executive vice president of Collette. “In the last
two weeks it has all turned positive. 

“We’re starting to see customers kind of re-engage. They are
starting to shop, research.”

Ben Perlo, managing director for G Adventures’ U.S.
operations, says it, too, is seeing a lot of activity. 

“People are booking right now through us,” he said. “And it’s
not just people rebooking. We’re getting a lot of good new bookings.”

So when and where do people want to go?

Roy says Collette still has a lot of domestic travel on the
books for July and August. But interest remains high for international travel
and the company still has a lot of Europe on the books for fall.

Top destinations for new bookings, Roy said, include
Britain, Ireland, national parks, the Canadian Rockies, Finland and South
Africa.

At G Adventures, which does small-group travel, Perlo says
most new bookings are for about nine months out. Interest, he said, is
especially high for South and Central America.

“My sense is that people, one, want to go out and explore.
And two, they want to be out in nature, somewhere they can get off the beaten
path,” Perlo said.

“We are also seeing a pretty good pickup in the Galapagos,
which I found interesting. Anecdotally, I think it’s because our ships down
there are only 16-passenger ships. So we’re getting inquiries about taking the
whole boat.”

Perlo said G adventures is also gaining traction with their
tailor-made products for private groups.

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