Travel agencies seeing spike in vacation interest as more people get vaccinated
BATON ROUGE – With more and more people getting vaccinated, people are eager to start venturing out again. Travel agencies say they're busy booking summer vacations, and the upcoming trips are giving people something to look forward to.
“You can hear it in their voice. Even at the end of the conversation they say, 'wow, I feel so much better,'” said Amy Lytle, a travel advisor at House of Travel.
Lytle says trip inquiries have doubled since the end of last year.
"Anything to do with outdoors and national parks has been extremely popular, like Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone," Lytle said. “And then beach vacations. Everyone needs a little sun, a little vitamin D in their life. So we’ve gotten a lot of calls for the Caribbean and Mexico.”
Spring and summer are normally the busiest times for booking vacations, but travel isn't quite back to normal. The CDC still recommends staying at home even if vaccinated, and those flying internationally have to have proof of a negative COVID test to get back into the U.S..
"That's kind of kept people closer to home. But, believe it or not, there are countries that are open like Kenya and South Africa. So I'm currently working on a safari for a family,” Lytle said.
Each state also has its own COVID restrictions.
”You do have to quarantine if you go to New York. Most of the northeast states are requiring that,” Lytle said. “California just opened back up a couple of weeks ago, so they’re getting back in. But still Nappa Valley is having a hard time fully being able to operate.”
Despite that, Lytle says she’s noticed more people are getting comfortable with traveling again.
"Those 50 and over that have already gotten vaccines are super excited, because they feel like they got their freedom back. Then you have younger people also traveling, and they were already kind of feeling that way."
Airport officials say travel is still down about 50 percent at the Baton Rouge airport, but advance bookings are picking up.
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