‘Ring off the hook’: Atlantic Canada travel agency sees surge in bookings – Halifax

Atlantic Canada travel agencies say pent-up travel demand is fueling bookings now that people are starting to feel safe enough to venture beyond their backyards.

“CAA’s phones kept ringing. Our members have been very interested in booking future trips over the past 18 months,” said Steve Olmstead, director of public affairs for CAA Atlantic.

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Olmstead says traveler confidence is being restored through policies that encourage safety, such as requiring proof of full vaccination to fly in Canada.

“People are getting vaccinated, easing restrictions on non-essential travel, each of these steps has had a psychological impact on all of us saying, ‘I may not be quite ready to go, but I have feels like it’s going in the right direction,'” he said.

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Click to play video: “Canada-US land border reopens after almost two years”

Canada-US land border reopens after almost two years

Canada-US land border reopens after almost two years – Nov 8, 2021

The increase in bookings is good news for the front lines of Halifax Stanfield International Airport, where passenger traffic accounts for 40% of its total capacity.

“We are very pleased to see some of our airline partners reintroducing direct services to southern destinations,” said Tiffany Chase, director of public affairs for the Halifax International Airport Authority.

Chase says direct flights to Cancun, Mexico will begin later this month, followed by direct services to Flordia and other Caribbean destinations.

“At this time, the Province of Nova Scotia still requires anyone entering Nova Scotia to complete the Nova Scotia Safe Registration Form, and so that process is still in place here. What’s also great is that they still have the take-out tests that are available for anyone who comes to the province,” she said.

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Chase says requiring proof of full vaccination to fly also helps restore confidence in air travel.

“There is an exception for those who are in the process of being vaccinated, they can also provide a negative molecular test instead, but after November 30 you will need to be fully vaccinated to travel by air to Canada”, a- she declared.

The United States border is now open to Canadians, but travelers returning to Canada must still provide a negative PCR test, regardless of their vaccination status.

“We are looking at these requirements very carefully. As the COVID situation remains unstable, officials and experts will continue to assess the measures in place and make necessary adjustments as needed,” Andrew MacKendrick, spokesman for Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, said in a statement. a statement emailed to Global News on Monday. .

Restrictions like this are why Olmstead is urging people to do their due diligence before hitting the road.

“Have a plan before you go and be prepared to change your plan if conditions change,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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