The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email email@example.com!
Name: Karlee Marshall
Business: Glenny Travel
Where do you live? Fort Erie, Ontario
How long have you been a travel advisor? 10 years
What is your specialty? Luxury and FIT Europe
What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught you about yourself and the travel industry?
It taught me how resilient I am! And also how fragile the travel industry is. We have been through diseases and scares before (Zika, etc.) but nothing like this. We definitely need to be prepared in case something like this happens again.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic?
The biggest challenge was trying explain the policies of the airlines and tour companies to my clients as they were changing daily. Things became a lot simpler once everyone was on the same page.
What challenges lie ahead as the travel economy gradually re-opens?
I think mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers will be difficult to overcome. Depending on what type of job clients have, this could make travel impossible.
What does the travel industry need to do restore consumer confidence?
The flexible early booking bonus of some of the sun tour operators is going a long way to restore confidence. Clients are loving the guarantee that they will get cash back if they need to cancel.
What other travel trends do you think may emerge from the COVID-19 crisis?
In the short term, I think short domestic trips will be in demand as people want to get away but many borders are still closed. Long term, I think people will book travel last minute unless flexible cancellation policies are introduced.
What's one good thing that has come out of this situation?
My clients have been very understanding throughout this process (for the most part) and I feel that our relationships have grown stronger. I think a lot of people will return to travel agents after this.
What advice do you have for travel advisors who are struggling during this tough time?
Hang in there. I strongly believe that travel demand will return to normal or be greater than before and those agents still standing will have lots of business!
When border restrictions are lifted and the risk is low, where are you travelling first?
My husband and I are already dreaming of Madeira, Portugal.
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