COVID-19 Impacted the Travel Merchant Industry


Travel Merchants Hit Hard by the Covid-19 Virus

Virtually every business in the country has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. However, there are certain sectors that have been hit the hardest or face a longer road to recovery. Travel industry is one such sector. Travel and tourism sector, particularly travel merchants, are hit hard by the virus. A recent report by High Risk Merchant Account LLC, a specialist in travel merchant accounts, stated that merchant credit card processing figures are down by 80% in the travel industry. The travel business is at standstill and recovery seems almost impossible. In the United States, about 64% of travel agencies have laid off at least half of their employees. And the turnover of the sector as a whole is still falling.

The reason behind this devastating impact on travel merchants is pretty simple: The Coronavirus pandemic forced countries to close their borders and added many travel safety concerns. These, combined with the uncertainty of COVID-19, has made many people to be less included to book a trip. This has left travel merchants feeling pressure with numbers at their lowest in what should be their busiest season.

Another unfortunate impact of COVID-19 on travel merchants is that they have to work around the clock without making a dime. This is because the travel agency sector is all about commission works and travel merchants and agents don’t get paid until their clients actually travel. Not to mention they have spent the past few months simply rescheduling or cancelling bookings without making a dime. In fact, when the pandemic first hit in March, these agents spent most of their time just trying to get their clients home from abroad. Because of the global pandemic, people are still uneasy about traveling so the recovery process of these agencies is slow.

Apart from this, these merchants are also currently facing a situation where they don’t really have a product to sell. Travel merchants and tour operators sell travel and there’s nothing that they can sell if travel is not happening. Unlike restaurants, beauty salons, and cafes that have closed, they have products that they can still sell – the beauty salons still have products to sell and restaurants and cafes do takeaways. But for travel merchants, there is no other products that they can sell.

The Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted online travel merchants as well because of the huge decline in travelers and a sharp increase in booking refunds and cancellations. These merchants are now focusing on finding different ways to cut down on costs. For instance, a number of online hotel booking and airline ticketing platforms have moved from focusing on sales to customer service because there is an overwhelming demand for ticket rescheduling and refunds.

However, despite taking the hardest hit by virus and making virtually no revenue since the global outbreak started and having to pay back fees for cancelled trips, many travel merchants hope that – by sparing their clients from all the hassle of negotiating refunds with airlines – they will have shown their value to clients who are eager to travel when restrictions allow it.

Brave Consumers Will Find Great Travel Deals Post Pandemic 2021

2021 is here and with new year comes the desire to experience something new. Particularly after months of social isolation, many people are eager to cure their wanderlust. As countries around the world start to open their doors to tourism again after a long period of closed borders and lockdown, there are a lot of post pandemic travel deals appearing. If you are looking for best post pandemic travel deals, then following are some great places to get started:

Scrambling Airlines – Keep a close eye on airlines and the deals they roll out onwards. The three major airlines of the country are already offering flexible bookings. These include United, American, and Delta. Their option for new tickets purchased now is as follow: if you buy a ticket before March 31, the airline will not charge any fees for rescheduled trips. There are also some discounts involved. Apart from the ‘big three’, you should also keep an eye on other airlines. This is because most other domestic airlines as well as some big international airlines are also following a similar policy.

Scrambling Hotels – Similar to airlines, hotels are also offering great deals. This is because hotels were also severely affected by the pandemic and now after the long period of social isolation, they need to offer better rates in order to attract travelers. Five major hotel chains, i.e. Wyndham, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton, are offering flexible bookings. Other hotels are also offering great deal right now, particularly those that are situated in popular destinations like Mexico, Las Vegas, etc. So, it is a perfect time to stay at a hotel even if you normally do not, either because of location or cost.

Traveling by Land – Planes aren’t the only way to travel. Automobiles and trains are also great options. So, check to see if you can get a great train fare with Amtrak as they have been able to fully restore their schedule despite the COVID situation. And if you would like to take a road trip yourself but you don’t own a car, look for post pandemic deals on long-term or one-way car rental. Road trips are cheaper nowadays because of the lowered gas prices.

Scrambling Destinations – Just as airlines and hotels are offering promotions and sales to gain back travelers after the long period of social isolation, certain destinations are also doing pretty much the same. At the moment, nature-heavy travel destinations are the top choice of many tourists. If you are planning to travel but having difficultly deciding where exactly your trip should be, then the tourist discounts offered by governments of these specific destinations will surely tempt you: Egypt, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Hong Kong, Greece.

As you can see, there are a number of places where you can find best post pandemic travel deals. To take advantage of the opportunities, it is highly recommended that you check your options, read the fine print, and take a look at what’s going on in your country before you set your sights abroad. Also, don’t forget to follow the safety and health guidelines of your local and your destination’s governments. Travel light and book your trips on airlines that are currently offering flexible change and/or cancellation policies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impact the travel industry across all of its relevant sectors. And still, the outlook for the travel industry remains highly uncertain. The novel COVID-19 outbreak continues to hit hard. Domestic travel is helping the industry survive in these unprecedented times, at least partially. Governments around the world have taken impressive immediate action to re-activate and restore the tourism sector, while protecting businesses and jobs. Many countries are also now taking steps to build a more resilient travel economy post Coronavirus. These include promoting the move to a greener tourism system, promoting digital transition, preparing plans to support the sustainable tourism recovery, and rethinking tourism for the future.

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