COVID19 experiences from an Italian Travel Agent!
I am working for a travel agency in South Tyrol, with four branches all over the region. The first affected clients were – in the beginning of February – a small group of businessmen, who wanted to travel to China, where the Coronavirus already broke out, and the country, was locked down. Until the end of February it was quite smooth, until the first case came out in South Tyrol. Suddenly the sentiment turns, nobody wanted to travel anymore, and everything was cancelled. There were still several people, who wanted to book a summer holiday, but more or less, as far as Italy and the other countries locked down their borders everything was cancelled.
All the non-necessary business was locked down, so also our travel agency had to close, and all workers were sent to the home office or wage adjustment. The tourism branch was hit hardest by the COVID-19, especially the group tours were cancelled. Our travel agency is focused on school trips. The client’s money is already transferred to the vendors or tour operators, and we were looking to bargain with all the vendors to receive or at least keep the cancellation costs as low as possible. Also the topics of returning the money to the clients or issue vouchers for further travels were a big topic in our travel agency.
Jonas (35) Travel agent in Italy