As COVID restrictions ease, travel agents see spike in sales

As COVID restrictions ease, many West Texans have their eyes set on warm skies and clear water.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 9:06 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - As the pandemic winds down, the United States and the world continue to open up.

That means more people are going on vacations.

That’s good news for Kim Landreth, a travel agent and co-owner of Travel Associates International in Midland.

“All I did was cancel trip after trip after trip.”

The pandemic wrecked the travel industry. Landreth had to move her business out of an office and into her home.

She’s one of the lucky ones. Many travel agencies didn’t survive.

Now, business is quickly picking up again.

“I have a lot of people going to Mexico, which is very easy to go to,” Landreth said. “Hawaii is a huge seller.”

It’s a nationwide trend. In a recent 12,000 person survey by Expedia, 65% of respondents said they were planning to “go big” on their next trip.

The reasoning is pretty simple. People got stuck at home during the pandemic, so they saved up all their money, and now they’re looking for a place to spend it.

That’s what’s driven West Texans to Jami Turner, owner of the travel fanatic.

CBS7 conducted Turner’s interview via Zoom while she was leading a 40-person tour on a river cruise in Amsterdam.

“My phone has been going all day long, just about every day,” she said.

She thinks 2022 should be just about as profitable as 2019. Industry expectations for 2023 are even better.

Not everyone is over the pandemic. Some countries have stricter COVID guidelines than others.

But that’s for your travel agent to worry about.

“The best thing is to plan ahead,” Landreth said. “And you can always buy travel insurance, so you’re covered.”

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