Travel Advisors Weigh in on Whether Vaccinated Baby Boomers Are Spurring Bookings

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With growing numbers of Baby Boomers receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, the good news is they are turning their collective attention to traveling again – but not necessarily so much in 2021.

“We have seen an uptick in inquiries about 2022 and 2023,” said Gary Pollard, CTC, president of Ambassador Tours. “Most of the confirmed bookings are from the clients who were to go in 2020, then 2021 and now are looking further out,”

Richard Turen, managing director of Churchill & Turen Ltd., said the second week in March 2021 was the agency’s strongest booking week in the past three years. “That is based more on optimism regarding 2022 and 2023 than anything related to one’s personal vaccine schedule,” he said.

But that’s not to say Baby Boomers are averse to hitting the road the year. Claire Schoeder, an independent contractor with Elevations Travel, noted that some of her clients have opted for domestic vacations in 2021.

“A few have gone to the Caribbean but the main concern for them is the longer stay at their own expense if they test positive for COVID,” she said. “They want to be able to get home and being in the states, they say, gives them the opportunity to rent a car and drive home from the 48 states.”

She added, “Many of my Boomer clients are happy to have the vaccine but say they want it to reach more age groups before traveling – so that is why many are currently planning for 2022.”

For Cal Cheney of Bucket List Tours, “there are people calling wanting my take on travel in general, versus nailing something down right now.”

Of the 46 clients Cheney booked on a charter to Croatia last year, “about 25 percent are still not comfortable going this Sept. 1,” he said.

Going forward into next year, Pollard noted that most clients are inquiring about cruise vacations. “But we have seen much more desire to see the U.S.A. In the past, clients would tell us when we mentioned, ‘How about the U.SA.,’ we got, ‘We can do that next year.’ Well, now the conversation is reversed.”

Many of Schoeder’s clients are asking when Western Europe will reopen its doors to tourism. “I have some planning fall vacations in hopes that Europe will be open,” she said. “They are booking hotels but holding off on airfare at this point.”

Turen has been scheduling “Five-Year 5-Year Bucket List” zoom and phone conferences with clients. “I have never seen as many clients echoing the belief that it is now time to start to complete their bucket lists,” he said.

Nonetheless, Turen said he does “not see a safe, comprehensive start-up of overseas cruise and tour operation” until sometime in September or October. “We think anything else is the stuff of travel fantasy.

Source: Travel Pulse

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