CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI –
Islanders are dying to travel again after the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed most globetrotters’ plans this year, travel agents serving Charlottetown say.
“There’s a huge appetite for travel,” said Paulette Soloman, owner and president of The Travel Store. She took over the presidency in November.
“Everyone is waiting for the restrictions to be lifted so they can plan future trips.”
As things stand, anyone leaving PEI must follow new rules, including self-isolating for 14 days after returning
Soloman has been promoting European tours that will take place over the next few years so clients can have more time to work, she said. The company has advertised Plan Now, Travel Later trips on its social media pages, including a 14-day tour of Ireland and Scotland in September 2022.
“Some of our suppliers also offer terms that help customers with COVID restrictions, which makes it a little less risky for our customers to book trips for the future.”
Travis Stewart, co-owner and operator of Stewart Travel Group, says there isn’t much of an appetite for travel in the short term.
“There’s still a little bit of fear for people getting on a plane. The point now is to see what happens to therapeutics and hopefully soon to a vaccine, “said Stewart.
They are now starting to look at their programs for 2022, Stewart said.
“Most people wait until next summer to see how they are. I think the many unknowns still rightly scare some people. “
Both Stewart and Solomon report that their PEI customers also wanted to travel to Newfoundland so they would not have to self-isolate when they return.
Whether it’s staying within the Atlantic Bubble or postponing plans for a few years, Solomon says her clients are eager to explore.
“Once the trip comes back it will be very busy and people will be very excited to be out there again.”