We’re pleased to share some exciting first-quarter numbers and encouraging news related to the uptick in travelers beginning to plan and book future travel!
Sales wise, 2019 was OTN’s best year ever, making it even more impressive to see sales in 2021 beginning to exceed those benchmarks.
“Sales in March of 2021 were 20% above sales reported during March of 2019,” said Lee Smolinski, CEO of OASIS Travel Network, adding that on April 1, 2021, the agency doubled what was reported on that same day in 2019. “We’re also up 533% with one of our preferred river cruise partners from the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2021. We are seeing these types of increases across the board. People are excited to be planning vacations again!”
According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, 88% of them now have travel plans in the next six months, the highest level in more than a year. In response to this increase in planning, some of our members have shared the trends they’re seeing when it comes to the types of trips their clients are seeking.
“We are getting very serious inquires for bucket list type trips for 2022, including Mediterranean cruises, river cruises, and expedition type cruises,” said Nancy Scorby, Travel Advisor and Owner of Scorby Travel. “Clients are also interested in going back to Italy—always a popular destination with our clients!”
Ultimately, travelers are looking to advisors to provide knowledge on where they can realistically venture to and what regulations they should be mindful of.
“The biggest change is travelers asking ‘where” can we go?’” said Megan Rokey, Travel Advisor and Accredited Cruise Counselor, Dream Seller Travel. “Most just want to know what is open and available to them with the ever-changing COVID rules and regulations.”
When it comes to potential vaccination requirements, especially for cruising, our members have been met with mixed reactions from travelers, ranging from excitement to refusal.
“Most of my clients are not deterred by vaccination requirements—even those who may not feel the vaccine is important to them personally are willing to get vaccinated if it means the world is opened to them,” said Rachel Johnson, Owner, Travel by Rachel. “If 2020 and 2021 have taught me anything, it’s to not take anything for granted. As my Facebook memories pop up from the great trips I’ve taken with friends and family over the years, I don’t regret a single day. The money doesn’t matter when life takes a sudden change as it did for everyone in 2020.”
Overall, interest in booking summer 2021 cruises has yet to resume to levels prior to the pandemic.
“Many of my present clients are rebooking cruises for 2022—especially the Alaskan sailings. I also have several re-books for Europe for 2022,” said Kathy Cardott, Cruise and Vacation Specialist, Travel with Kathy. “I have also noticed that now, most, if not all, of my clients want travel insurance. That is a big change for me.”
Members indicate that destinations such as Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean are remaining popular across the board. We expect this growth to continue into the second quarter of 2021 as the summer months arrive and travel becomes even more top of mind with increased vaccinations worldwide.
Learn more: www.oasistravelnetwork.com.