Travel industry ready to roar as restrictions loosen - but with new safety precautions

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the travel industry. So many people had to cancel their summer vacations - but things are changing. 

You may begin to start the process of planning that next vacation but it may look a lot different. Travel agents were seeing steady business right before COVID-19 hit.

"(If we were a) restaurant - imagine taking back every meal you prepared for the last six months, unprepare the meal and ingredients for the raw shelf and gave everyone the money back - that's the world we're living in," said Matt Fishman, travel agent. I had people working full time to undo what they already did."

They saw a 90 percent drop in air travel but now there's a chance for a redo for clients. Fishman said that flights were up 30 percent last week alone. the phone is starting to ring again and people are ready to get away from being cooped up at home. Right now cruises for 2021 are up 15 percent. Christmas travel bookings are starting to roll in. 

Most of the trip planning is domestic, people feel safer in their cars.

"Greece and Iceland are opening up in the next couple of weeks and they have good protocol," Fishman said. "So certain places that were really prepared for this or had virtually had very little COVID-19. Antigua had none, Barbuda and some of the places in the Caribbean. Some of the places in Mexico - those are some of the places we are getting reservations as well as for next year.

"We're seeing people starting to book their kids for spring break, for example. they never got spring break this year."

Many airlines are revamping the cleaning process and strengthening their protocols for distancing and the hotels are changing things, too. Just listen to what they're doing at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. 

"They'll have the Plexiglas when you go to check in, there will be a lot of keyless type of situations or situations where there will be no reason you can't check in online or ahead of time," Fishman said. "They will eliminate a lot of the touch points. The other things they're doing is they're cleaning the rooms with the foggers and the different things and what they're doing is then sealing the rooms. They are doing that in Las Vegas which is opening up this weekend. They're literally putting a seal on the room so you know when you walk in the room, no one else has been in the room but you. You're breaking the seal."

Promotional video still from the Wynn.

Travel agents were seeing an uptick in business before COVID-19, there are so many websites out now for travel, it can be overwhelming and confusing and one thing you want to make sure of is that you're getting the proper travel insurance. As we now know, anything can happen any time.