Local travel agencies see much needed boost in people booking vacation trips

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Local travel agencies are anticipating more bookings as we get into the summer season and as coronavirus restrictions loosen.

Over the past few months, travel and tourism has been down, especially internationally.

President of Cruise Holidays of Topeka Richard Knoll said they’ve had a lot of cancellations on international trips that were scheduled for this summer.

“The cruise lines have stopped running and a lot of countries are closed to air travel and therefore you can’t do a land package,” Knoll said. “So, it’s been difficult in that regard.”

Like many people, Daria Hart’s summer vacation got put on hold because of the pandemic.

“I had a big vacation planned,” Hart said. “We all were supposed to go to my hometown in Saint Petersburg, Russia this August, but obviously with everything going on, we will have to move it to the next summer.”

But as coronavirus restrictions loosen, the boost the travel industry needs could be right around the corner. Knoll said people are already starting to book trips for next summer.

“Basically, we’ve lost a season and so there’s a lot of pent up demand and we expect next year to be very busy,” Knoll said. “In fact, there are a number of vacation opportunities that are close to being sold out.”

While it may not be Russia, Hart isn’t giving up on having some type of vacation this summer.

“We were thinking about going to Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore,” Hart said.

Knoll said several vendors and cruise lines are waiving cancellation and rescheduling fees, so customers aren’t penalized if they need to do that.

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