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COVID-19: Travel industry struggles with new federal ban but optimistic for future

Click to play video: 'Travel industry struggles with new federal ban but optimistic for future' Travel industry struggles with new federal ban but optimistic for future
COVID-19 safety restrictions are continuing to wreak havoc on the travel industry over the past 11 months. Global's Malika Karim reports – Feb 13, 2021

COVID-19 safety restrictions have continued to wreak havoc on the travel industry over the past 11 months.

“Before COVID I had an another travel agent working with us for a number of years, many years so we were able to provide service to leisure travel central travel, a bit of corporate travel, whatever travel arrangements required packages and tours,” said Walter Rodrigues, Bestway Travel Agency travel consultant.

“Right after March, April, things started going bad. We had to let go, one of our agents.”

Rodrigues noted their agency has had to pivot, catering now to customers who travel for essential reasons.

“We are getting customers in, calls in, that do need this service, and we’re able to make out, not necessarily a profit.

“It’s just that we’re able to pay some of the costs of keeping this office and and other things going. If we did not have that type of group, we would have had to close for sure. For sure.”

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Click to play video: 'Questions about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it all down' Questions about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it all down
Questions about the new travel restrictions? Expert breaks it all down – Feb 2, 2021

Claire Newell, a Vancouver-based travel expert, admits it’s a hard time for the industry but feels optimistic for future travel.

Newell noted a few things to make sure when booking a trip for after restrictions are lifted.

“You want to make sure that they have the health and safety protocols in place, and the majority, especially the large airlines and large hotel chains do,” Newell said.

Read more: Canada adds over 4,700 new COVID-19 cases as feds impose stricter air travel rules

“You want to make sure that the terms and conditions are flexible so that you’re not left holding the bag if things, you know, goodness forbid we have restrictions in place when you end up wanting to go [travel] in fall or into 2022 and you want to make sure that you can get insurance, that will cover you for COVID-19.”
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