As more and more baby boomers get the COVID-19 vaccine, the good news is that they are turning their collective attention to travel – but not necessarily in 2021.
We see an increase in demand in 2022 and 2023, says Gary Pollard, CTC’s president and ambassador for travel. Most confirmed bookings are from customers who were due to leave in 2020, then 2021, and are now looking further afield.
Richard Turen, managing director of Churchill & Turen Ltd, said the second week of March 2021 was the strongest booking week for the agency in three years. This is more of an optimism for the years 2022 and 2023 than a personal vaccination schedule, he said.
But that doesn’t mean baby boomers won’t want to hit the road this year. Claire Sheder, an independent contractor with Elevations Travel, noted that some of her clients have decided to go on holiday in 2021.
Many people have traveled to the Caribbean, but their biggest concern is staying alone longer if they test positive for COVID, she said. They want to be able to go home, and because they are in the United States, they say, they can rent a car and go home from the 48 States.
She added: Many of my baby boomer clients are happy to have the vaccine, but say they want the vaccine to reach more age groups before they travel.
For Cal Chaney of Bucket List Tours, some people call me and want me to do the whole trip instead of just one right away.
Of the 46 Cheney customers who booked a charter to Croatia last year, about 25 percent are not yet ready to depart on the 1st. September to come, he said.
For next year, Pollard noted that most customers are interested in a cruise vacation. But the desire to see the United States became much greater. In the past, customers have told us when we said: And the United States, we’re working on it: We can do it next year. Well, now the conversation turns.
Many of Schoeder’s customers ask when Western Europe will open its doors to tourism again. I have plans for fall break in hopes that Europe will be open, she says. They book hotels but do not currently pay for airline tickets.
Touraine has a list of 5-year goals and conference calls with clients. I’ve never seen so many customers who think it’s time to fill their to-do list, he said.
However, Turen said he doesn’t see a safe, large-scale launch of cruise and foreign travel business until September or October. We think everything else is a travel fantasy.
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