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Tour Operators: Clients Are Booking Mexico Vacations AgainMay 11, 2009 By: Joe Pike
What a difference a couple of weeks make.
According to a recent poll Travel Agent conducted, 71 percent of the 91 responding agents said the H1N1 virus scare had a “major impact” on Mexico bookings. A handful of major tour operators selling Mexico told us they were seeing cancellations at a rate they haven’t seen since Hurricane Wilma of 2005.
But that was two weeks ago. And now?
Well, it appears as though the worst is over.
As restaurants, clubs, school and other businesses begin opening their doors again, it appears as though life will go on in Mexico.
“We’re still busy, but just not 100 calls deep like we were (two weeks ago),” a spokesperson for MLT Vacations told Travel Agent. “If anyone was canceling their trips to Mexico, it was done in the first couple of days (after the news of the H1N1 flu scare broke). But now, we aren’t seeing any.”
Travel Impressions' call volume is down considerably from last week, a spokesperson told us. In fact, as of last Wednesday, Travel Impressions began directing agents back to its regular reservations and e-commerce phone numbers rather than the emergency line the operator has been using.
“We're seeing a good trend of more customers staying with their original Mexico bookings and we've even seen new bookings for Mexico picking up—for Memorial Day weekend, for example,” the spokesperson said. “If bookings are changing destinations, it is still mainly to the Caribbean— Jamaica and Punta Cana in particular.”
Travel Impressions will continue with its current special offers for agents and their customers, and anticipate announcing some specific Mexico offers starting “very soon."
“All in all, things appear to be moving back toward normal,” said the Travel Impressions spokesperson. “We certainly hope so.”