LUBBOCK, Texas — According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, 2020 cost the industry a staggering estimate of $4.5 trillion.
A year later, things appear to be turning around for the better. People are booking trips now more than ever, said Kanna Myers, a travel consultant.
“Suppliers are saying this is the year of travel–like that’s kind of the tagline we’re hearing–and they’re telling us, gear up and get ready, and it is,” said Myers. “I mean, I’m personally in the middle of hiring an assistant because I can’t keep up with all of the requests.”
The increase of vaccinations and a drop in COVID-19 cases have left many people anxious to get out and explore. Myers said there is a high demand for travel that has skyrocketed over the last few months.
“A huge boom in travel. We’re seeing numbers that are exceeding pre-pandemic, so exceeding 2019 numbers … they [people] are ready to get out and see the world,” said Myers.
A local interior designer, Macey Hardin, said she and her husband, now vaccinated, are spending their weekends traveling domestically and feel it can be done safely.
“I think just like everyone has been. We’ve been cooped up for the entire year. For my husband and I, it was like, where can we go for a mini location,” said Hardin.
Hardin said she has seen a difference while traveling.
“Honestly, the past two months have been insane. We just went to Vegas last weekend, and it was as packed as I’ve ever seen it,” said Hardin.
The CDC has released a statement about cruise operators setting sail as soon as the summer, but only if 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of passengers are fully vaccinated.