QUINCY (WGEM) — A long road is still ahead for the tourism industry.
The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association does not expect to see a full recovery from the pandemic until 2024.
But local travel agents said they are seeing signs of progress.
Places like Quincy Discount Travel have lost a lot of business over the last year as travel restrictions, and concerns about the safety of traveling caused many people to call off their plans.
Travel Agent Jennifer Lepper said while they are hoping to see new business soon, many of the people coming in are rescheduling trips they planned last year that were put on hold.
However, she said a lot needs to happen before the industry is back to normal.
“I think you’re going to have to have as much airlift as we used to have for flights. A lot of the airlines have cut down their airlift, and you’re going to have to see these hotels as well operate at 100 percent occupancy,” Lepper said.
She said another problem they face is not many hot spot destinations are open for travel.
“Right now there’s only certain places that people still can go. So, if somebody, for example, wants to go to Italy, well right now you still can’t go to Italy. So, we are kind of locked on that where we can only sale what is open and what is readily available for clients to travel to,” Lepper said.
She said many places are offering very low deals as an incentive to draw people in.
All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens must have a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from the virus, before they board a flight to the United States.
The CDC requires masks on planes, buses, AND trains, traveling into, within, or out of the United States … and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.