more people looking to travel in 2021

With the vaccine rollout nationwide, some people are itching to travel again.

Now that we’re well into 2021 and more and more people are being vaccinated, some are turning to travel agencies for guidance on those future travel plans.

Travel Advisor, Charlie O’Connor of Gulliver’s Travel of San Luis Obispo says there’s a renewed interest in travel.

“People are feeling a little bit more confident about traveling and they’re excited about traveling again,” O’Connor said.

When the pandemic hit, advisors were swamped with canceling trips and reimbursements but now they’re working on bookings.

“We’re seeing a lot of Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, places like that,” O’Connor explained.

Linda Ward of San Luis Obispo says she’s getting excited for the travel season ahead.

“I’ve been working a lot at home during quarantine and decided that after our vaccination shots it might be a great opportunity to travel,” Ward said.

She says last year she and her husband had two trips canceled.

“We now have one on the horizon to go to Tahiti in July and we’re hoping that the cruise line will be able to reopen and we’ll have had our vaccinations so we’re looking forward to possibly traveling then,” Ward said.

According to a new survey by Destination Analysts, more than 84% of roughly 1,200 Americans surveyed have tentative trip plans for 2021 with June through October being peak months.

While there are differing COVID testing and quarantine rules depending on the destination, advisors are helping navigate the unfamiliar road.

“There are a lot of places you have to get tested before you leave within 72 hours and then places that we send them to, the resort, would help them get the test before they come back,” O’Connor said.

When it comes to travel within San Luis Obispo County, we have new data from Visit SLO CAL.

During the stay-at-home order in January, hotel occupancy was down 29.9%. Last week, hotel occupancy improved being down only 10.7%.

Visit SLO CAL says while there’s an increase in visitation overall, San Luis Obispo County still has more than 6,000 hospitality and tourism employees that have not yet returned to work.