Tour operators seeing uptick in bookings

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G Adventures says there's been a pickup in Galapagos inquiries. Photo Credit: G Adventures

As some countries and states begin easing Covid-19 shutdowns, tour operators say they are seeing renewed interest in travel.

“We went through about five straight weeks of declines in web traffic,” said Jeff Roy, executive vice president of Collette. “In the last two weeks it has all turned positive. 

“We’re starting to see customers kind of re-engage. They are starting to shop, research.”

Ben Perlo, managing director for G Adventures’ U.S. operations, says it, too, is seeing a lot of activity. 

“People are booking right now through us,” he said. “And it’s not just people rebooking. We’re getting a lot of good new bookings.”

So when and where do people want to go?

Roy says Collette still has a lot of domestic travel on the books for July and August. But interest remains high for international travel and the company still has a lot of Europe on the books for fall.

Top destinations for new bookings, Roy said, include Britain, Ireland, national parks, the Canadian Rockies, Finland and South Africa.

At G Adventures, which does small-group travel, Perlo says most new bookings are for about nine months out. Interest, he said, is especially high for South and Central America.

“My sense is that people, one, want to go out and explore. And two, they want to be out in nature, somewhere they can get off the beaten path,” Perlo said.

“We are also seeing a pretty good pickup in the Galapagos, which I found interesting. Anecdotally, I think it’s because our ships down there are only 16-passenger ships. So we’re getting inquiries about taking the whole boat.”

Perlo said G adventures is also gaining traction with their tailor-made products for private groups.

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