Sitting here in month THREE of quarantine, my team and I had the privilege of speaking with Ingenious Travel.
Please welcome to DianeSchroder.com, Maria Stafanopooulos – Ingenious Travel
Thank you Maria for joining us today.
Q) Tell us a little about your company. What is your split from corporate, groups and leisure travel?
Ingenious Travel is a full service travel agency specializing in leisure and group travel. We work with families, groups (clubs and organizations) and small businesses (i.e. wine bars, car dealerships, etc.).
Travel type breakdown – Corporate 5%, Groups 20%, Leisure 75%
Q) With a majority of direct flights being cancelled these days, how do you see the increase of air travel happening over the next six months?
Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing a number of airlines suspend service to smaller airports, meaning travelers will have to go a longer distance to reach the airport. Having said that, we’re getting updates daily and may see service returning to those airports as air travel increases.
We’re basically in a watch and hold pattern as many states and the world are opening up. As long as we continue to open and there isn’t another shutdown, we’ll be slowly returning to normal.
Advice to those who plan to travel over the holidays…book now. With current flight availability, seats will go quickly. Waiting doesn’t mean you’ll get better pricing. Airlines (and hotels) will be trying to recoup money they’ve lost during the drop in travel.
Q) What has happened to your group business and when do you see it picking up?
To date, groups scheduled for 2020 cancelled. At this time, only one has rebooked.
I have started to get inquiries for 2021 as many of our vendors have been offering some type of promotion.
I believe we’ll see more people planning as we go further into the summer, as lives are returning to normal.
Q) International travel…when do you see some of the restrictions lifting and when do you see people being able to travel to the USA from Europe/UK/South America?
We are seeing updated information on this daily.
Many of the countries have posted opening dates for travelers entering without quarantine restrictions.
As this is changing so frequently, I’d welcome those interested in traveling to contact me so I can give them the most up to date information.
Q) What are the biggest challenges you see in traveling in 2021 and beyond. How can people prepare for what the “new world” will look like?
We don’t know yet who’s surviving and who won’t be here any longer. A few of my supplier partners have closed their doors during this pandemic.
We also don’t know if there will be a “second wave” and if so, what it will look like. Those within the travel/hospitality industry are receiving new guidelines and working in phases like most of the state as far as their reopenings.
Travel insurance is a MUST! Though most don’t cover the pandemic, you’ll have a better chance at getting some of you money back as opposed to none. (And remember, travel insurance is not only for before you travel. You don’t want to get “stuck” in the middle of your trip, for any reason.)
In a perfect world, we’ll get back to our former normal and be able to travel and enjoy our trips (business or leisure) without worry.
Thank you so much Maria for taking the time out to answer our questions and give us a little more insight into the industry. For everyone out there reading this blog, if you would like more information from Ingenious Travel please contact Maria by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and at https://ingenioustravel.com/
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