Travel agency calling for support to ensure survival
THE banning of interstate and international travel has turned the fortunes of travel agencies upside-down during COVID-19.
Helloworld Travel Biloela owner and manager Leisa Davis said that the opening up of interstate travel would give the boost her sector needs.
“Really if we can travel interstate, that would be a big help but I think it will take time to get people's confidence back,” Mrs Davis said.
“We will need to see what will happen with the other states and New Zealand.
“We are into our third month of basically no bookings.”
Since midday Monday, Queenslanders could travel anywhere throughout the state for however long they wished, but this uplifting hasn’t translated into a hugely positive result yet for Central Queensland agencies.
“Since travel opened up in Queensland, we've had some inquires for domestic flights throughout the state,” Mrs Davis said.
“I know the Gladstone store has had a small increase in local inquiries this week and sometimes Biloela is a week or two behind.
Mrs Davis implored residents to use the services that travel agents can provide instead of booking online, especially in uncertain times where you never know when you might need a refund on a booking.
“People can book online but it doesn’t help our industry so we want the community to support us so we can some business happening,” Mrs Davis said.
“We’ve done so much for people during this pandemic and they wouldn't of been able to get the same results back we got for our clients.
“Booking a holiday even in Queensland is where we can add value because we have access to unique packages and local rates.
“Yes you may spend another $15 per ticket but we have to own this community spirit of letting businesses stay open.”
While a number of industries had to effectively shut their doors during the lockdown, Mrs Davis said that her team hasn’t missed a day across Central Queensland as they work to sort through the complicated inundation of booking refunds.
At the end of March and start of the lockdown, people wanted to cancel, get clarity, it was a scramble,” Mrs Davis said.
“It’s been extremely hard work because there hasn't been blanket waivers put out for month’s on end.
“So we've had to logistically co-ordinate every person’s booking in the interest of the client so they get the best result.
“We’ve had to keep track of many different segments within one person’s booking of when the operators would put out a cancellation or credit notice.
“So it's an on going workload for us and we are working as hard as we can to get the best result for clients.”