2020 – A Year The Travel Industry Will Not Forget

Article by Nicole Beavis – Senior Travel Advisor
Helloworld Travel Belmont

ISSUE 7 : DECEMBER 2 0 2 0

Covid has brought many industries & businesses to their knees, so much uncertainty, the great unknown,  as Australia had not experienced a pandemic at this level in the modern era.  We would love to share with you, our reflection on the most challenging year we have ever experienced.

We entered 2020 with high hopes & visions of new holiday destinations to explore. In January we held our annual Expo at NEX in Newcastle with over 10,000 people experiencing the wonderful exhibits from our suppliers. Whispers were coming out of China of an unknown virus.

February, March & April, the virus was given a label – COVID-19 from here it had spread beyond China & evoked panic around the globe. This brought the start of supplier cancellations for cruising & touring, with the government placing an international travel ban, followed by state travel restrictions, with some state closures. Once the restrictions hit those who were travelling, their holidays ended wherever they were. We had clients all over the world, which we worked tirelessly to bring home, we had people in India, New Zealand, Bali, Canada, Tasmania & on various cruises. The beauty of booking with your personal travel agent, is that we care, we do not rest until we know you are all home safely, we resorted to communication at all hours via texts & Facebook messages. We are happy to report that all returned safely & were very grateful for our efforts.

Not only did the world crash so did our beloved travel industry. A crisis team was formed, where our three senior travel advisors took on the task of working from home for six weeks on reduced hours, navigating and working on all of our bookings for 2020.

Early May found us back in the office thanks to the government initiative of Job Keeper, this allowed for the return of our trainee to our office. We were all so excited to be back working together as a complete team, seeing each other in the flesh rather than on a zoom meeting. As the virus was still out there in our community, we remained closed to the public whilst we continued to stay on top of the ever-changing world of Covid-19 cancellations & policy amendments. This included airlines constantly changing their policies regarding refunds & credits, some bookings were updated numerous times.

June, July & August saw the closure of the remaining state borders & cruise lines continued to pause their operations. We battled again with further cancellations, amendments & trying to re-book trips.

September & October came with the hope of some state borders opening to all states except NSW & Victoria.  At the end of November, we welcomed the freedom to be able to travel to all states except WA. After feeling caged & trapped many of our clients have contacted us to assist them with the freedom of a domestic holiday, discovering our own backyard.

Whilst it may be some time before we can rediscover our wonderful world, we can see a light at the

end of the tunnel. It has been a year that none of us have ever seen before or experienced in our combined sixty- five years in the travel industry. We are dream makers, planning a trip is so exciting & fulfilling not only for you, but we also get just as much enjoyment, as if we are on your journey with you. This year Covid-19 has shattered many dreams of not being able to take that trip of a lifetime, that long awaited catch up with family & friends, that bucket list item. It has shattered our dreams too.

With 2021 on the horizon, we have new optimism, whilst most of the world still battles Covid-19, there is hope of a South Pacific travel bubble, allowing us to dust off the passports, get out the suitcases & start planning again.

Please allow us to be part of your journey, we are here for you, today, tomorrow & always.

From all of us here at Helloworld Belmont we wish you the most wonderful Christmas.

A big thanks to Nicole and the team at Helloworld Travel Belmont. If you’re looking for a professional, caring team of travel agents, that know all the best travel spots, please contact them by phone or email. (02) 4945 0044 – belmont@htg.com.au – www.htg.com.au

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