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Valley travel agent, airport report increased demand as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease

Carnival Cruise says masking requirements will relax soon.
Carnival Cruise says masking requirements will relax soon.(CNN)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - As many areas lift travel restrictions, local travel agents and airports say their business is booming.

“Any time there’s news regarding the travel industry, we know that people automatically start to reach out to us,” said Terrie Dean, co-owner and general manager of the Wishing Well in Harrisonburg.

From long and peaceful cruises to international flights, the interest is up across the board, Dean said.

“People have been waiting to take those bucket list trips. We’re not seeing as many small trips that we did pre-Covid, but we’re seeing the bigger trips, more family-oriented trips,” Dean said.

Dean said many people are making their spring and summer plans, and more people are looking to leave the country.

“We’re seeing that people are really keeping their finger on the pulse of the travel industry, especially those who are suffering from a lot of pent-up demand,” Dean said.

After Carnival Cruise announced masking will be optional on their ships, people longing to hit the seas started scheduling their trips.

“One of the major things that we’re seeing is interest in cruises. That has really started an additional boom in the cruise industry,” she said.

Heather Ream with the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport said they’ve seen increased interest in flights. Last month, Ream said traffic levels were in line with pre-pandemic rates. They’re seeing people make plans for spring at higher rates than last year, too.

Dean reminds travelers to do their research before booking that trip.

“Every place is different, so there’s some inconsistencies with what we see as far as what’s required to travel into certain countries, certain islands and certain cruise lines. You have to be very much aware of what those restrictions are,” Dean said.

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