Amarillo travel agencies see early signs of rebounding

KFDA NEWS AT SIX - clipped version

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo travel agencies are seeing signs of rebounding after what some travel agents describe as the worst year on record.

“Last year, most of us ended up working for free,” said Melissa DeFever, travel consultant at Honey Bee Travel Agency.

Many people have been actively planning their next big trip, and according to Amarillo’s Travel Network some are doing it last minute.

“We were giving them a price but the next day they were booking,” said Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network.

During the month of March, Honey Bee Travel Agency has done an average of 15 bookings a week, while Amarillo Travel Network has been booking three to eight reservations a day.

“They are tired of being at home, you know, they’ve cancelled all of their trips and their plans, and their gatherings for last year,” said DeFever. “They are just tired of being stuck and not able to do anything, ready to just go out and explore.”

Travelers are also eyeing cruises, which many are rebooking for 2022.

Another thing on traveler’s minds is travel insurance.

“A lot of people had trips booked and never saw the need for travel insurance,” said DeFever. “All of the sudden found themselves in a dire situation, where they had, some of them, you know, 15 thousand invested in a family vacation they were needing to cancel, and they were losing all of that money.”

Because of the different travel restrictions, agencies have seen more new customers who want to make sure to consult an expert.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there, like there’s a lot of confusion,” said Meil. “Where you can go, what’s closed down, if you need a vaccine, what destinations need to have a COVID test so that’s where I really recommend someone reaches out to a travel professional.”

Popular international destinations include Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean.

While nationally, Florida takes the lead.

Many of the people making these reservations are couples who couldn’t go on their honeymoon or destinations wedding, as well as families.

Copyright 2021 KFDA. All rights reserved.