Finally, there is much positive news in the travel sector. Effective vaccines and a reduction in cases and deaths give the industry hope for improvement.
That’s certainly the case with G Adventures, whose founder, Bruce Poon-Tip, virtually addressed the media this week to explain how the tour operator is returning to the travel business.
During the phone conversation, Poon-tip noted that he misses the innocence of traveling and traveling without worries.
It was a good time to talk about a comeback, one year after the pandemic officially shut down the industry.
There were more changes in March than in other months, he said. Now we see the light. Countries are really trying to open their borders. Everyone is looking forward to the summer.
Poon-Tip considers Europe’s announcement of a digital green passport one of the most exciting announcements of the past week. The certificate must contain proof of vaccination or information on a negative test result for COVID-19.
G Adventures is working to make trips meaningful this summer, especially for 1st graders. July 2021. However, Poon-tip noted that things may not be ready until January 1. September really works.
Still, the G’s adventures have not been in vain. The company has been offering tours since September 2020, and according to Poon-Tip, customers love the tours and the experience.
What will really open up travel on a larger scale, he says, are the states’ roadmaps for reopening.
He also noted that immunization records should be standardized.
It’s not as unusual as people think, he said, but he stressed the need for a uniform system. If everyone does their own version, countries will be overwhelmed to deal with it. The process] should be standardized.
Recent research by G Adventures has shown that closed systems have led people astray and changed the way they want to travel, what they want to see and where they want to go.
Fifty-nine percent of travelers said the closures are prompting them to travel more. However, 77% have not yet made their reservations and are waiting for the borders to open.
Thirty-one percent of travelers travel within three months of vaccination, and 46% travel within six months.
This shows a quick recovery for the trip, Poon-tip said.
Booking behaviour has also changed: Many consumers are willing to commit to longer booking periods, up to eight months.
Explore Jordan (Photo via G Adventures)
Ms. Poon-Tip noted that consumer orders prior to the pandemic were much closer to the beginning. So we have a long six to eight months ahead of us.
Consumers are also interested in other things. Seventy-five percent want the money to go to local communities. G Adventures is also seeing an increase in interest in active holidays and has found for the first time that 41% of people want an outdoor experience.
More and more consumers are looking for active experiences, bucket list trips and memorable journeys.
There’s a positive feeling now and people are talking about travel again, and that’s what we really need, Poon-tip said.
Along with hope for the future of travel, there is also hope that the travel industry can recover better. Ms Poon-Tipa compared the travel industry’s resurgence to the world’s biggest startup when travel makes a comeback.
He noted that companies may reconsider their activities.
Now that we have scaled back our activity, we have the opportunity to take over with 30 years of experience.
Ms Poon-Tip also stressed that the industry needs to work together to ensure that people feel comfortable again when they travel.
The best thing we can do in the industry is choose where we want to compete, he said. We shouldn’t be fighting for security. We will all follow global standards and ultimately have the same goal: to get people traveling again. Let’s not compete for customers.
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