Local travel agency navigates booking challenges, remains hopeful with vaccine rollout | Coronavirus

SPOKANE, Wash. – It’s been one year since 21 cruise ship passengers tested positive aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and thousands were quarantined at sea off the coast of California.

In the past year the cruise ship and travel industry has been impacted across the country and Spokane is no exception.

Spokane’s Travel Leaders said they have seen a dramatic decrease in bookings for travel across the board and especially for cruise trips.

A year after people were quarantined at sea and the travel industry has still not got their footing back, however, travel agents said that people are still very interested in taking a vacation. The challenge is trips are consistently being pushed back to 2022 and even 2023.

“Every time we make a plan we have to rework that plan because obviously bookings are going to be pushed further out, so it’s been a challenge for the last 12 months and we anticipate all of 2021 will still remain to be a challenge,” said Jean Cook, Travel Leaders manager.

The cruise industry has lost billions of dollars during the pandemic however some cruise liens are holding out hope that with the vaccine, the industry will turn around.

Cook said if you are considering planning a vacation even if it is far out in advance, be prepared for your plans to change. Looking into insurance to protect your travel investments is also a good idea and know that you will have to be flexible with dates. Cook said some cruise lines are also requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for travel