How a travel agent handles the latest round of cancellations

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Over the past month, and since the federal government reinstated the non-essential travel advisory, Vogel has seen two large groups cancel: one booked to stay in Panama next month and the other scheduled to visit in Alaska at the end of May. . With the Panama group, Vogel managed to postpone them to another date in 2023 (“We’re crossing our fingers the supplier doesn’t go bankrupt or the hotel doesn’t close,” she says), while the cruise group has since agreed to think it over for a few days before making a final decision, as final payment is only due at the end of February. Vogel, however, is not optimistic following the CDC’s recent advice against cruise travel.

“It made it very difficult. I just got a call this morning from a couple going on a cruise at the end of February and am now looking to cancel. It’s very sad and stressful, ”says Vogel. “People worry about going anywhere – they’re not only frustrated with the ever-changing rules, but they also don’t know what the rules will be when they come back. “

After an extremely difficult 2021, Vogel is preparing for another difficult year, and with Air Canada Vacations temporarily suspending service to more than a dozen sun destinations and Transat canceling nearly 30% of its winter flights, agents of trips risk even more lost income in the weeks to come. Although Vogel successfully applied for the Small Business Support Grant for Tourism and Travel last year, which provided one-time payments of $ 10,000 to $ 20,000 to hard-hit businesses, Vogel says those funds are ‘will run out by mid-2022 and that it is not eligible for any additional financial assistance from the government “because I do not pay rent because I work from home”.

Earlier this week, ACTA announced a new government proposal for financial assistance and relief for independent agents. Known as ITARP (Independent Travel Agent Relief Program), it is now in the hands of senior officials for consideration.

In the meantime, Vogel is busy – and managing her anxiety levels – by delivering her husband’s homemade breads to frontline workers and needy people in her community, helping the elderly book their vaccines and their recalls, and making and selling baby blankets and crafts to crafts. shows where, by coincidence, she recruited new clients as a travel agent. She also supplements her income by selling insurance to new clients who are unable to find COVID-19 coverage on their own.

“I try to help the community where I can – going out in public is important,” Vogel says. “Whether I print QR code certificates for the elderly or bring bread to widows and families in need, I support my clients the best I can. “


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