4 Tips for Traveling in 2021The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit industries around the world due to COVID-19. It was one of the very first sectors to feel the impact of the pandemic and it will be one of the last to fully recover. From big business in airlines, conventions, and large hotel chains, to the smaller independent tour operators, restaurants, and Bed and Breakfasts, Tourism and Hospitality has experienced a major economic setback.
1. Stay Local
Planning a trip around the world may not be realistic, things will take some time to get back to that kind of travel. Staying within Canada or even your own Province can be just as eye opening as if you were in a completely different Country. How much do you know about Indigenous culture in Canada? What tourism businesses are open? Local economies need support more than ever, and it is important to know that you are not the only one thinking this way.
According to Expedia.ca, this year's trending destination list sees its entire top 10 list with Canadian destinations: 1. Jasper, AB 2. Gaspesie-Iles de la Madeleines, QB 3. Banff, AB 4. Tofino-Ucluelet, BC 5. Okanagan Valley, BC 6. Muskoka, ON 7. Georgian Bay, ON 8. Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, QB 9. Thunder Bay, ON 10. Golden, BC
We think it is fantastic that so many Canadians are searching out places within Canada to visit, now, how about visiting the road less traveled? We recommend discovering Indigenous experiences this year. Canadian Indigenous tourism has quickly become a diverse travel product with nature, food, events, art, relaxation and more, all deeply rooted in the culture and heritage of the many First Nations of our beautiful country. Check out the Destination Indigenous website to start putting your travel plans together. This brings us to our next tip…
2. Plan Ahead
Avoid disappointment by planning ahead. 2021 is not a ‘spur of the moment’ trip kind of year. Currently, International travel is still restricted in Canada, when these restrictions are lifted it will take time before it is seen as less riskier, leading to increased travel regionally and within Canada. Last year, the BC Parks website crashed immediately after opening summer bookings for Provincial campsites and announcing they will only be open to BC residents for the summer of 2020. That massive demand to get out but stay local has not dissipated. So if you are already feeling the need to get out and explore, now is the time to begin planning.
3. Know Before You Go
Spirit Bear Lodge is currently developing its Covid Safety Plan to ensure our guests, staff and community will be safe this season.
Research the destination you are traveling to and ask businesses about their Covid-19 safety protocols. It is crucial to be aware of what changes in regards to restrictions and health procedures you will encounter along your journey. Know how Covid-19 has affected your destination and contact local tourism information centers to find out what businesses are operating and if they have made any changes to their operating schedule. Lots of places now require booking ahead of time, when previously this was not the case.
4.Read Cancellation Insurance & Get Insurance
This may seem obvious but most tourism businesses have drastically changed their cancellation policies after the effects of last year. Cancellation fees are still a thing but many companies are giving more flexibility to their customers to encourage the business. When you decide to book, it's still a good idea to get cancellation insurance and read all the fine print about what is and isn’t covered.
This past year has been difficult for most of us and while some will wait longer until comfort levels allow them to venture out into the world again, we should all remember that, "People forget years and remember moments." - AnnBeatie. Here's hoping for some memorable moments this year for all.