Travel industry bouncing back after rough few years during COVID-19 pandemic

An industry recently on the brink of collapse has roared back to life but there are some new clouds on the horizon too. David Zura explains.

By David Zura and Meredith Bond

The travel industry which was the brink of failure during COVID-19 is now celebrating a big comeback with travel agencies saying it’s booming and “stronger than ever.”

“It definitely hasn’t compensated for the hole that was done during the pandemic but we are going to come out of it,” said Teena Dowd, owner and travel agent with Vacations for Canadians. “People are eager and willing to travel right now and ready to go. So it’s going to take us a little bit of time to get through it, but we are definitely coming out of it.”

Dowd said they have had to make some adjustments to accommodate the increase in interest.

“We’ve had to make some adjustments to adapt to the growth we’ve experienced over the last two years.”

Richard Smart, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) President, said this comeback is consistent throughout the industry.

“Sales through travel agencies and tour operators have been very strong this year. Most would say back to the levels that they were pre-pandemic and continuing to grow.”

Despite economic concerns and inflation, there are still lots of people traveling.

“Our industry is still pretty optimistic, despite having a few economic challenges and some inflation, some tricky inflation. People are just eager to go and I don’t think that’s going to stop them,” said Dowd.

Smart agrees.

“Of course, we have clouds on the horizon with inflation and recession talk but overall it’s been a brisk year and we’re expecting a strong winter season.”

“It’s going to be our biggest year by far. The outlook for the industry is booming and definitely, our agency is doing fantastic. And we’re going to have our best year ever,” added Dowd.

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