You better book your 2022 travel before the end of the year as there is a tsunami about to hit the travel industry
Last week I attended the Virtuoso Symposium in Vienna, Austria. At that meeting, they shared with us their research that there is potential to have a giant tsunami of travel reservations from pent-up demand that is 300% higher than normal. This means that if even half of those projections come true that not only will hotels be sold out next year but the prices could rise into the stratosphere. My advice? If you have travel plans for 2022 you better get organized and make your reservations before the end of 2021. You will save money and not have to settle for a second-rate vacation.
New research also shows people who travel have 20% more wealth to spend on travel next year – COVID-19 has been very bad for the world, however, a rising stock market, government stimulus payments and other positive economic activity has put a lot of extra dollars in the pockets of people who travel a lot and especially those classified as luxury travelers. This means the 5-star hotels and resorts will fill up fast next year. It also means that during the pandemic people invested in possessions. As we move out of the pandemic, people will move to balance those possessions complemented by adding experiences found in travel and family again. I love to hear the optimism building in the travel industry in 2022.
International travel to Europe is difficult if not impossible for those not vaccinated – I just returned home this weekend from attending the Virtuoso Symposium in Vienna, Austria. Austria has been very strict in requiring vaccinations for entry as I expected. However, what I didn’t expect was that every hotel, restaurant, bar, and many stores require you to show a vaccination card for entry. WOW! This made me think. If this becomes the norm throughout Europe, even if the country allows entry with only COVID testing if all the commercial venues require proof of vaccination you are basically out of luck. I will be flying to India this month so it will be interesting to see how they police the vaccination process. The key to all of this is to work with a professional travel advisor to help you through the maze of ever-changing rules.
Fewer masks in Austria than I expected – All airlines require masks when flying. Austria also says they require masks, however, I saw fewer people masked up than I do in Lincoln, NE. In the airport, they required N95 masks which was a new wrinkle for me, and they were very strict about that. I stayed at the beautiful and historic Bristol Hotel and almost all the staff did not wear masks.
There are almost as many COVID testing stations in Vienna as there are ATM machines – U.S. citizens are required to test for COVID prior to arriving back into the states. In Vienna, it seemed there was a converted hot dog kiosk on every corner that was turned into a COVID testing station. You could get a rapid COVID test for 39 Euros and have the results emailed to your phone 15 minutes later. A lot of stores and pharmacies also had easy and fast testing. This is many people’s biggest worry when traveling and I found it to be easy peasy.
The U.S. finally gives other countries the green light to visit on November 8 – Travel to the U.S. has been shut down since early 2020 for foreigners. The Biden administration is finally opening our doors to other countries but with multiple requirements. CLICK HERE to see a good article with the details.
Final Call! The Holy Land and our All-Inclusive Mississippi River Cruise – Suppose you have Jordan and Israel or the coolest music-themed Mississippi River cruise ever offered on your bucket list. In that case, this is your last chance to join our Women of the Midwest groups as they venture out to experience the best these extraordinary destinations have to offer. With a maximum of twenty-two like-minded women, you get to enjoy Jordan and Israel, February 17-28, and an exceptional, all-inclusive New Orleans-Memphis luxurious river cruise, March 24 – April 2. CLICK HERE to find the detailed tour itineraries. Do not hesitate to secure your spot by calling or emailing our friendly group department; (402) 858-0033 / GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com.