The first quarter of 2023 has zoomed by. Travel is up. We are busier than ever. You would think by all accounts that we are entirely past the pandemic’s repercussions. On some fronts, we are. The days of required masks and extra shots for Covid no longer pertain. From the naked eye, the world appears to look like it did before. But…and it is a big but because one key factor still significantly impacts the smoothness of travel.
What is the one key factor I am alluding to? It is the human body. Or should I say lack of bodies? Until this one factor is resolved, expect delays.
As the remaining lingering countries opened their borders mid to late last year and began pushing out mega advertising to entice travelers back to their lands, they forgot one thing. Most companies had downsized their staffing to keep up with the overhead while there was no travel. The travel demand came back tenfold. Millions of people shut up for two years, eager to take those long put-off trips. And others are ready to go as they realize they shouldn’t put it off until tomorrow. Yet, the industry, and not just travel, has yet to be able to fill its staffing back to pre-covid levels while the demand and number of travelers are rapidly passing the years before the pandemic. I already see 2023 for Boomerang Escapes being a banner year and blowing by 2018 and 2019 traveler numbers.
What does this staff shortage cause? In a word, delays. There are delays everywhere.
Delays in getting pricing back so we can produce quotes, delays in receiving documents, delays in handling refunds for cancellations, and delays in getting paid. If you didn’t know, most of what a travel advisor earns comes from commissions paid out after the client travels. Usually 30 days after the client has returned from travel.
What can you do? Simply put, have patience and faith in your travel advisor. We are as frustrated, if not more frustrated than you, as every delay, at least in my eyes, reflects upon my service. Even when I know I can’t control what is happening. I know from many a call with managers within the industry they are doing their best to get their staff and functions back up to full speed. I have faith that they will do it. If you are preparing to travel, expect there may be a few bumps in the road yet this year as the travel industry continues to get back on its feet after such an extensive pause.