Islanders are keen to resume travelling after the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed most globetrotting plans this year, say travel agents serving Charlottetown.
“There’s a great appetite for travel," said Paulette Soloman, the owner and president of The Travel Store. She took over as president in November.
"Everyone is waiting for restrictions to be lifted so they can start planning future trips.”
As it stands now, anyone leaving P.E.I. must follow new rules, including self-isolating for 14 days upon return
Soloman has been promoting European trips that would take place in the next couple of years, so there’s more time for clients to work with, she said. The company has been promoting Plan Now, Travel Later trips on their social media pages, such as a 14-day exploration of Ireland and Scotland in September 2022.
“Some of our suppliers are also offering terms that help customers with COVID restrictions, which makes it a little less risky for our clients to book trips for the future.”
Travis Stewart, the co-owner and operator of Stewart Travel Group, says there is not much appetite for travel in the short-term.
“There’s still a bit of anxiety for people getting on an aircraft. It’s now a matter of seeing what happens with therapeutics and, hopefully soon, a vaccine," Stewart said.
They are starting to look into their 2022 programs now, Stewart said.
“Most people are still waiting until the summer of next year to see how things are. I think the many unknowns are still scaring some people and rightfully so.”
Both Stewart and Solomon report that their P.E.I. clients have also been looking at travelling to Newfoundland so they won't have to self-isolate when they get back home.
Whether it's keeping within the Atlantic bubble, or postponing plans until a couple of years down the road, Solomon says her clients are eager to explore.
“Once travel comes back, it will be extremely busy and people will be very excited to get back out there.”