Virtually hug or thank a travel agent today. They need your support now more than ever.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared covid-19 a pandemic and governments around the world imposed travel restrictions, the travel industry has simultaneously halted & reacted feverishly (no pun intended). While commercial airlines, cruiselines, resorts, cities and countries issue temporary shut downs and issue massive layoffs, travel agents/advisors/specialists are working around the clock to get their clients home, decipher vendor policies that are changing by the hour, reschedule or cancel their clients’ bookings among all the uncertainty…and spending countless hours (even days) on hold.
Why are these travel experts some of the unsung heroes during this global crisis? Because instead of crawling into a dark hole and waving the white flag, they’re working diligently on their clients’ behalf and doing most of it while not getting compensated. That’s right. Your favourite travel expert doesn’t get paid until you return from your trip and all other parties involved (tour operator, airline, hotel, transfer company, excursion company, host agency, etc.) have been fully paid first.
If past outbreaks have taught us anything, it is that the travel & tourism industry will bounce back. However, they aren’t expected to return until June at the earliest (personal guesstimate). As a result, you can assume that March and the coming months are going to be extremely rough for a good portion of experts. Some of our colleagues have already stated that they will have to close their doors for good and one specialist we follow informed their clients that they had already lost a quarter of their income in only 9 days. Many will not qualify for government-funded relief as they are self-employed (and won’t meet the current criteria for funding options). Still, the majority will hang in there…but they may not be alright. Check-in on your travel friends, let them know that you’re thinking of them, that you value them…and maybe invite them to join you for a virtual happy hour.
What else can you do to show your love for your favourite travel expert?
If possible, postpone & don’t cancel your travel plans.
Like & share their business page.
Like & comment on their posts.
Tag them in relevant discussions or recommendation posts.
Write that 5* review you’ve forgotten until now.
Recommend their services to a friend. Better yet, refer & introduce a friend directly.
Send them photos from your last trip and let them know what you loved most about it.
Share your bucket travel list with them.
Say thank you.