As Canada slowly gets through the latest wave of the pandemic, brighter days are ahead for travellers, according to CAA Saskatchewan.
Terry Kaszas, General Manager of Travel Services with CAA, says it's been a bit of a roller coaster, with bookings picking up about a year into the pandemic before tapering off due to the new variants of the virus. Now, it looks as though travel is poised to make a comeback again in 2022.
"People are feeling more comfortable travelling...international is picking up with more European type tours, motor coach, as well as river cruising," Kaszas said.
Kaszas says many people are planning these trips for this fall and are booking well in advance, as much as six months to a year.
"They're pent-up right? They keep referring to the upcoming travel season as 'revenge travel,' they want to get back to where they once were and kind of catch up to what they missed," he said.
In terms of specific locations, sun destinations such as Mexico and Jamaica remain popular, although those bookings still don't compare to pre-pandemic levels. Kaszas adds that Canadian destinations have actually benefitted from all the travel restrictions.
"A lot of people are travelling more domestically and we've got a lot of things put together for the spring, summer, and fall, and we did put things together for people in the past year to be able to travel with little packages, things like that. People are still going to visit friends and family across the country," he said.
Kaszas said one thing still holding people back from international travel is the fear of testing positive at the end of their vacation and not being able to return to Canada, which has been a fear through out the entire pandemic.
But overall, Kaszas is forecasting a bright year ahead for travel all over the world.
"Things are really going to open up for Europe this year I feel, really as well as the rest of the world," he said, adding that his team is also starting to book more cruises, an industry crippled during the pandemic.
"I think people are feeling pretty confident that it's an endemic now as opposed to still a pandemic. Although that's still out there and I'm not downplaying COVID at all," he said.
"People are ready to go, people want to travel," he continued. "As long as we see more and more restrictions being lifted I think we're going to have some pretty full airplanes, full trains, full hotels, everywhere again very very very soon."