Where Are Agents Sending Travelers to Escape the Cold?
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Travelers want warmth, cruising and peace of mind, according to travel agents who share what’s trending this month.
Northeast travelers are fighting plummeting temperatures and are eager to get to warmer clients. “It’s mid-winter right now in New England, so a lot of people want the Caribbean,” said Emily Martel, director of educational tour department at Milne Travel American Express in Manchester, New Hampshire. “My favorite place to recommend to them is Sandals for couples and Beaches for family vacations.”
Martel says she also sees a big increase in interest to South America and Ireland. “The dollar goes a lot further, there are lots of options for direct flights, and the airfare has dropped,” she says. “For example, you can get roundtrip airfare to Costa Rica for around $400, where it used to be more around $600 per person.”
Tammy Levent, CEO and founder at Elite Travel Management Group in Palm Harbor, Florida, says that she also has been booking a lot of trips to Jamaica and Costa Rica. “Travelers want Costa Rica because there is a variety of things to do, not just sit on the beach. There are the mountains, ocean and wildlife, and the opening of Dreams and Secrets. It’s fairly inexpensive even though the rates are going up.”
When recommending resorts to her clients, Levent says that her favorite place is Ladera, which is an all-inclusive Caribbean resort set on a volcanic cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
For travelers who keep calling about the resort experience this month, Olga Leonetti of Centre Holidays in Brantford, Ontario, says that she recommends Breathless Resort and Spa as one of her choices. “It’s the newer brand catering more to the millennial generation and has an upscale, social, trendy party atmosphere,” she says. “There are three resorts — the oldest being Punta Cana, Cabo San Lucas which opened in December. Cancun is slated to open in May 2016. There is also a new resort being opened later this year in Jamaica.”
Regardless of the destination trends, one good business trend is that business has been spiking up in the last month, said Eric C. Ardolino, president of A & S Travel Center, Inc., in Wallingford, Connecticut. “Right now, a lot of my clients want Cancun, but the requests are all over the place, from skiing in Italy to cruising on a riverboat.”
READ MORE: Another Side of Cancun
He’s also been extremely busy fielding calls since the news broke of the problems with the Anthem of the Seas cruise. The boat sailed into a monstrous Atlantic storm that produced Category 5 hurricane strength winds.
“Cruisers want to make sure that their trips are still on,” he says. “The good news about this month though is that we’re very busy.”
He’s thrilled with the fact, though, that people still want to cruise and are planning vacations.
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