Tour operators have invented COVID protocols based on guidelines provided to them by local governments, medical professionals, and health organizations. The new safety measures implemented are as follows: better air circulation, sterilization of areas that are frequently touched, the elimination of buffet-style meals, and social distancing in vans and/or tour buses.
Going forward, every small detail of the trip will be monitored. The operators will check the guests’ and tour operators’ temperatures daily. Depending on the destination, a negative COVID test may be required within days of travel. At arrival, the guests must complete the health attestation form and sign off on the tour company’s new guidelines.
The pandemic has caused tour operators to implement new programs to assist a vacationer if they become ill while on tour. The programs include 24-hour assistance, immediate emergency, and medical coverage if they become sick. For instance, if a traveler has a positive COVID test or is required to quarantine upon arrival, these companies will now provide support for the travelers. The support includes appropriate lodging, meals, and translation services if necessary. In the program, there will be no additional charge for travelers for these services.
Many of your operators prefer smaller group trips to begin with and prefer the intimacy that it provides. The pandemic has forced capacity limits for everything from event venues to dining out. As a result, tour operators have had to limit the number of people on tour to allow social distancing measures.
Due to the pandemic, many U.S. tour companies chose to focus on domestic travel by default. While focusing on domestic travel, travel planners have also shifted their focus to lesser crowded and lesser-known U.S. destinations. Many travelers now consider a staycation as staying in your home country, not just closer to your actual home. In the U.S., popular group trips include traveling to national parks and luxury destinations like California’s wine regions.
Later on in the year, it is expected that the tour companies will relaunch international tours in full force. Until then, they will continue to follow the trend currently happening with U.S. destination travel.
A group travel agent will be able to help you understand the new flexible booking policies that have come about because of the pandemic. The pandemic brought about many changes to how people travel now. Many travelers will now be seeking the help of a travel guide to navigate them into the post-pandemic world of ever-changing travel policies.
For those travelers that cannot get back to traveling in the fall of 2021 or winter of 2022, planners are looking further ahead. The planners are now looking to get you the best travel deals by booking in advance. Many travel planners are actively planning for their clients for 2022 and, in some cases, into 2023.
A shrewd group travel specialist will be able to find you some extra special perks. This is especially true if you are planning way in advance. These perks can be anything from a room upgrade, free meals, or even special discounts.
Many consumers are now seeking smaller, more exclusive and private group tours. Many groups wish to travel within a “COVID bubble”, which has led to an increase in custom group tours. This method of group travel planning is predicted to increase.
Many travelers are now expecting to travel for some purpose post-pandemic. They are looking for more meaning in their travels. They may wish to give back in some way via voluntourism or participate in greener travel. Private tours can enable these travel wishes to come true.
Contact Traveler’s Q today to get the best travel tips from one of our group travel management experts.