Around the World
Oct 2021 | By Catherine Daley
Release the pause button and press forward on your travel plans. We’ve all watched, and experienced, more than enough drama over the past couple of years. It’s now time to be the centre of your own making.
Paul Chin-Aleong – senior travel advisor with New Wave Travel, a division of Vision Travel in Canada – takes great pride in designing bespoke travel itineraries for his clients. Early this spring, Chin-Aleong started to notice a gradual increase in bookings, but people weren’t hopeful for 2021 and were making plans 2022. The 14-day quarantine was still a deterrent, but once it was lifted, he had a flood of new bookings for this summer and fall.
Adventures with certainty
While his customer base seems to be widening their travel expectations and willing to embark upon some long-overdue, dream-inspired vacations, they’re proceeding with a bit of caution. “There’s more interest in African safaris, as well as sun/beach destinations,” says Chin-Aleong. “But people want private, villa-style accommodation, and aren’t interested in crowded resorts. For those who loved ocean cruising, they are now considering river cruising. In the case of an emergency, they like the idea of being closer to land and being able to return home, if necessary.”
We’re all a bit starved for human contact, and because of this Chin-Aleong says that those customers with grandchildren are panning multi-generational family trips, especially over Christmas and New Year’s. “And because they didn’t use their travel budget from last year,” says Chin-Aleong, “They’re willing to spend more.”
Baby Boomer preferences
According to Pew Research, Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73) have always had an out-size presence compared to other generations, and remained the largest living adult age group until a few years ago. Even pre-pandemic, tour companies including, Tauck, Insight Vacations, and Denure Tours (to name a few), set their sights on this burgeoning market and tailored exclusive packages to this well-off portion of the population. And, as mentioned, companies are now catering to multi-generational family travel packages, to accommodate that priority for many boomers.
Destinations to pique your interest
Chin-Aleong is eager to get back into the travel saddle. Many of his customers have come to appreciate is custom-tailored packages, often led by Chin-Aleong himself. Past destinations included Bhutan, India, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Italy, Portugal, Eastern Europe, and Iceland. A few pre-arranged tours had to be rescheduled from last year, but soon be will be hosting a private safari to Kenya and Tanzania, and has a trip planned to Sicily and Malta next May.
To entice travelers to travel again, some tour operators are relaxing their cancellation policies and offering incentives. However, Chin-Aleong warns, don’t expect any price reductions. If anything, with the demand, prices are inching up on most custom travel options.
It’s a whole new world out there – on so many levels. Choose your next trip wisely, and embrace all that you see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
For more information visit Newwavetravel.net