Local travel agency “overwhelmed” with business

BySteven I. Green

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that mask mandates will be extended until May 3 on airplanes and public transit. This comes as travel begins to speed back up again.

Some travel agencies are overwhelmed by all the business they’ve been receiving as many who planned a trip in the past 2 years are looking at traveling this summer. This combined with the normal travel season has created bottlenecks in rescheduling trips.

“We have 3 years’ worth of travelers trying to get on to one year’s worth of tours and cruises,” said Charles Turner, president of Turner Travel in Harrisonburg. “We’re overwhelmed.”

His hands have been full with clients booking travel this summer. If you are traveling internationally, the process of being allowed to enter another country is extremely tedious with the pandemic.

“One of the problems, and it’s a serious problem, is the entry requirements for each country in Europe are different. We have websites where we check the entry requirements but they quote government documents which are sometimes translated literally into English and you can’t make heads or tails of what they’re saying,” said Turner.

Turner said one thing that is trying to be done is removing testing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated or boosted.

“The American Society of Travel Advisors of 140 other organizations have petitioned the CDC and the White House to remove that requirement for fully vaccinated passengers,” said Turner.

In his 56 years in the business, Turner said this is some of the most challenging things he’s had to deal with.

Turner also said that many people are deciding to change travel plans and travel within the U.S.

Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.


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