Over the course of 2022 and 2023, many Covid-related travel restrictions have been dropped in tune with the drop in Covid cases and the rise in vaccinations. Many destinations have returned to the normalcy of pre-covid entry rules, and in the last few months many cruise lines, airlines, and other transport services have begun to follow suit, bringing plenty of good news. Though all these changes are excellent to see for those in travel, it’s still important to ask, are your travellers up to date on travel restrictions?
It is very easy, in the face of good news, to forgo the same care surrounding awareness that was greatly emphasised when many destinations and transport services were setting up new restrictions against Covid. With many destinations now returned to 2019 entry rules and others relaxing more travel restrictions by the month, our level of vigilance and awareness could easily slip. Though the drop in restrictions is also good news for the traveller, if they are not aware of the drop in restrictions (something they are encouraged to explore through the Foreign Travel Advice page), they could end up going through unnecessary expenses or stress as a result.
For travel agents and hybrid tour operators, ensuring your travellers are still up to date is vital not only to help the traveller but to retain their confidence. Though consumers have been encouraged to stay aware of destination entry rules since the beginning of Covid in 2020, there are some elements that have not been so keenly emphasised and may not be considered by your consumer.
When you are booking a holiday for your consumer, it is important to make them aware of the various travel restrictions they may encounter, regardless of Covid. Equally, it is important to make sure they are aware of restrictions that no longer apply, perhaps they have travelled to a specific destination with your business before, but the restrictions have dropped between bookings, they may need reminding.
Travel restrictions that consumers may need to be aware of and get updated on may include but are not limited to:
- Destination Entry Rules – these are the travel restrictions that have received the most attention throughout the course of Covid.
- General Destination Restrictions – this could be anything from people being required to wear masks indoors, to specific visa requirements for those staying somewhere such as the Schengen Zone.
- Cruise Line Restrictions
- Airline Restrictions
- Airport Restrictions – it is important for consumers to be aware that some rules that may not apply on their outbound flight may still apply on their returning flight.
Which travel restrictions your travellers need to know about will depend on the booking they have made, but many consumers may need to check rules that they are not aware of. For example, if your consumer is going on a cruise and staying in another destination along the way, they might check the rules for that destination on their own, but they might not be aware that the cruise line will have its own restrictions that can usually be checked on the cruise line’s website.
Ensuring your consumers are ready and up to date on travel restrictions before their time to travel arrives not only ensures peace of mind for your traveller, but also gives them the confidence to return to book with you again in the future. As a travel agent, it is also important to remain up to date on all these same travel restrictions so that you can make your traveller aware of any restrictions they may need to know about for a smooth trip. Whatever the holiday they are taking, you are their main source of information for their getaway and making sure they have a great trip can be the difference between a new consumer and a loyal customer.
So, if you’d like to learn more about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can get in touch with the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.