Some cancel out of fear, others reserve to pass the quarantine
The coronavirus pandemic impacted all sectors and social classes, especially tourism. Many travelers had to cancel their flights and plans in different destinations in Mexico or abroad, and luxury tourism is no exception.
Travel agencies and tour operators have chosen to invite their clients to postpone rather than cancel; however, despite the great purchasing power, many decided not to take a chance and suspend everything until further notice.
For example, Virtuoso Travel, which has more than a thousand travel consultants for luxury tourism, has been impacted because clients’ plans for Easter and nearby dates moved everything up to the fall.
“The focus right now is on autumn. We cannot give a clear date to users because some countries have closed their borders and it depends on them when they open” said Eric Diaz, director of Virtuoso Travel.
“The truth is that [luxury tourism] has also been affected by covid-19. In some cases clients have cancelled all their trips and practically from Easter to June or July, everything was lost. Almost nobody wanted to reschedule or postpone their plans for fear of the pandemic,” Omar Servín Morales, director of Amparo Servicios Turísticos, said in an interview.
He noted that those who postponed their flights are planning to travel again starting in September or October of this year and not before. Similarly, he stated that as an agency they have had some problems with the airlines.
“The main issue is the flexibility policy of some airlines. For example, the deadline is one year to change the flight from the date of issuance of the ticket, but many bought from earlier, so instead of their 12 months are fulfilled when they had planned to travel, the deadline expires earlier,” he clarified.
Omar Servín Morales, director of Amparo Servicios Turísticos
This is the case of some tourists who bought their ticket in December or January and were planning to travel during Easter or summer, but this policy will prevent them from leaving on those dates in 2021, since their extension year expires at the beginning of next year, which is when they bought their tickets.
Not everything is bad
Although travel experts do not yet have an exact date to leave completely safely around the world since, being a pandemic, times in countries are different.
“Fortunately, almost all of our clients decided to postpone rather than cancel their trips. Many had travel insurance and had some contingency clauses, so they had no major inconvenience”
Ophelia Ramírez Rojas, director of Cristal Luz Royal.
She even added that some clients have chosen to stay in some of her properties in Mexico and abroad, such as country houses, ranches or haciendas, to protect themselves from the coronavirus contingency.
“Weekend homes have been an option for our clients to get through the pandemic since they can be in contact with nature, far from the city and where they do not need to go out much with the risk of exposure,” he said.
Author: Víctor Cisneros, Periódico Viaje