Whether it’s a cruise booking cancellation or being on the fence about traveling in six to eight weeks, travel advisors’ phones are ringing off the hook with clients’ concerns about the Coronavirus.
“So far,” commented travel advisor Jennifer Honaker on Recommend’s Facebook page, “I have lost a couple of cruise bookings; had one couple change from a cruise to an all-inclusive; and had an e-mail from a client who asked if now would be a good time to get her tickets to Italy (Florence and Rome). The client decided to cancel Venice, but is not worried about Florence and Rome. She figures prices are better now.”
Travel advisor Paul Krause, a Cruise Planners franchise owner, added that his clients, seniors in their mid-70s, are more afraid of getting stuck on a ship being rejected by ports or being quarantined than of the actual virus. Chelsea Rabeiro, of Chelax Adventures, agreed, noting that she’s seeing clients cancel more over concerns of “being stuck somewhere, or things being closed and not being able to experience the destination as planned.”
But, travel advisor Jennifer Hardy, a Cruise Planners franchise owner, said it’s been “business as usual” except for a client who’s “ready to back out of a Med cruise that starts and ends in Rome.”
Many travel advisors, including Sharon Manzy, part of the Cruise Planners network, did note that bookings are down, although she hasn’t lost any bookings. And Rochelle D. Clark Ward, of J&R Ward Travel Company, added that she’s had a couple of cancellations for a Panama Canal Cruise, but on the flip-side, has another client who wants to do three weeks in South Africa. And advisors such as Brad Bellendir noted that they’ve been “selling a lot more insurance than we normally do.”