After two years of not travelling, Canadians are on the move again.
The pent-up desire to travel is keeping the travel consultants at Uniglobe Direct Travel in Kelowna very busy these days, with bookings already being made not only for this summer but also for the coming winter season, Christmas and even spring break next year.
“The message to travellers out there is to book ahead of time to get the best prices,” says Christine Clark, co-managing partner of Uniglobe Direct Travel.
Clark, and Uniglobe’s other managing business partner Jodi MacDonald, say traditional warm-weather locations like Mexico are popular now but so to are European destinations like Italy and Greece, as well as cruises and both specialized and guided tours.
“For the last two years people have really stayed close to home but now they want to get away,” says MacDonald.
And for many, it is not just two weeks at a hotel on a beach somewhere. The travel-starved public is much more discriminating in their travel tastes these days.
Specialized travel, such as a stay at a Tuscan villa in Italy, food and wine-focused tours in culinary capitals, bicycle tours in Europe and small (and large) luxury cruises - some of which book three years out - are all proving very popular as people emerge from their life of “staycations” due to national and world-wide pandemic restrictions since 2020.
Whether it is the desire to see other places and experience other cultures and cuisines or to reunite with family or friends, elsewhere in the world, the desire to travel is back and consultants at Uniglobe Direct Travel are there to help.
With its team of experienced, knowledgeable and helpful consultants —many of whom have more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry—Uniglobe can not only help create trips of a lifetime, it can also offer the knowledge and security travellers need to make their travels hassle-free and memorable for all the right reasons.
“The value of a travel consultant really can’t be underestimated,” says MacDonald, noting because her team deals with travel planning every day, they are plugged in to not only what is readily available and how to get it quickly at the best prices—such as airfares, accommodation and the re-routing of flights if needed, but are also available to help with any problems travellers may experience along the way.
“We answer the phone right away,” she says, noting with some online, do-it-yourself travel planning websites, customers often have to wait long periods to talk to a real person.
“We are here and we are local,” she adds. “We know the best routings. We know the airlines. We see the itineraries and we can save people a lot of heartaches when it comes to travel planning.”
The return to travel is already being seen at Kelowna’s airport, where the number of people passing through the terminal is once again growing after the air travel industry was decimated by the pandemic. Airlines, such as Air Canada and WestJet, have announced increases in the number of flights they are providing and are slowly moving back to pre-2019 levels.
Both MacDonald and Clark said in addition to a return of leisure travel, they are also seeing a return of corporate travel, including the “incentive” market, where companies reward employees with trips and some take staff to various locations for training, seminars and team meetings.
So, if you are planning a return to travel, check with the experts at Uniglobe, as they can help make your travel planning easier and make your trips even more memorable.
You can contact Uniglobe Direct Travel at [email protected] or by calling 250-860-0808.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.