Travel agencies in the north say people are eager to get to warm destinations
After 19 months of severely limited business, travel agencies say northerners are now eager to travel, including to the United States.
Chris Mayne, manager at Mayne Travel Services, told CTV News the pandemic has forced his company to change the way it operates.
“This last year it’s probably taken longer to confirm what the requirements to travel are, because they change every week and they change country to country,” Mayne said.
“It’s been surprising how much time that has taken to keep up with things, because if we’re giving advice, we’re actually legally liable. It’s not just a passport any more -- I’ve got to look at all the health implications, as well.”
With the border reopening for Canadian travellers to drive south next month, and the federal government rolling out a Canada-wide vaccine passport, Mayne said business is picking up again.
“It’s that migration of the snowbirds,” he said.
“People are starting to look at selloffs and deals for November and early December. What looks good for January, February March, the typical winter season.”
This year it’s also easier for people in the north to get to Mexico.
“This year, Sunwing is flying directly from North Bay and Sudbury to Mexico, which is great," said Mayne.
"The airlines the tour companies, the tour lines, are all doing everything they can to entice people to travel again."
On top of showing proof of vaccination, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is reminding travellers of the health and safety protocols in place.
“Proof of a negative test, as well as vaccination, is still required for fully vaccinated individuals flying into the U.S., and a negative COVID-19 test, molecular PCR test only, is still required to return to Canada at this time,” said Dr. Jim Chirico.
Mayne added there are still quite a few questions and concerns coming from his customers, but said all clients are encouraged to purchase travel insurance, because conditions and travel restrictions can change quickly.