The virus we've come to know as COVID-19 has travelled to every corner of the globe. Travel for the rest of us, however, has been limited.
The pause button has been pressed on all leisure travel and the travel industry like all businesses have had to adapt in wake of this global pandemic.
Disney Theme Parks closed their gates across the world on March 12, and cruise lines worldwide made the decision to suspend sailings on March 13.
While each individual airline conducts business differently, the Canadian and U.S. Borders were closed on March 18 for non-essential travel.
Julia Lutchman is the Owner/Operator of Evexia Travel here in Cochrane and she says that although Evexia has been closed for the last seven weeks, she has been busy assisting her clients from home in a different way.
She says "We've been working quite hard at home helping people get their trips cancelled and getting things properly put into credits for them. We're answering all their follow up questions and also helping them dream a little bit into the further future than we would normally see as a trend, which has been fun."
Lutchman says that this is usually a busy time of year for destination weddings, however, clients who have their hearts set on getting married on a beach are putting those plans on hold for now.
She says "So far with the weddings that we've had to cancel, the couples are just kind of hanging tight to see what happens in the future. It's not just the bride and groom to consider. When they have their family and friends coming they have to listen to their reasoning as well as their comfort levels. So many couples are holding off on those plans for now. Although for anyone looking at booking their destination wedding for later into 2021 or even 2022, now would be a great time to start planning that."
Lutchman says that she is expecting that some changes will be made to the way that people travel well after the pandemic has ended and that some airlines are already implementing strict safety measures.
She says "We just received notice from Air Canada yesterday that there will be mandatory facemasks worn by guests and the crew. They also have a different system that they'll be using for cleaning, and they're not allowing anybody that isn't immediate family to be seated directly adjacent to somebody else. They also mentioned a temperature reading system that will be set up before you're even allowed onto the plane."
Lutchman says that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding when leisure travel will once again be permitted, but she anticipates that many people will be ready to relax, and recoup on a vacation, after this time of high stress is behind us.