Travel expected to ramp up in Philly region as COVID restrictions ease

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As people look to shake off the winter chill and COVID-19 restrictions loosen across the region, many are mulling over the decision to travel this summer.

"I am going to Walt Disney World and I'm super excited," said Kelly Brennan of Ocean City, New Jersey.

While Brennan said she's been traveling on a plane since the fall, others at Philadelphia International Airport said this was their first time flying again in about a year.

Michael Stewart said he just got back from a flight to Atlanta and he felt safe on the plane.

"It was every other seat and that was another reason. Instead of three to a row, we sat two," said Stewart from Mount Airy.

Alyssa Caraballo said she just landed from a trip to Florida after not flying for about a year.

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"I just got to have fun for once in a whole year. It's just been a crazy year with COVID," said Caraballo of Northeast Philadelphia.

Travel agent Suzanne Shank told Action News she barely had any income last year.

"In one year, I've made one reservation," said Shank, the owner of Atlas Travel.

Shank said she's starting to see some people book flights for the summer however no cruise bookings yet.

"It's tough, people are not comfortable just yet, and it's a shame because if it's ever been clean, it's cleaner than clean," said Shank, referring to the sanitation precautions in place by the travel industry.

However, a motel owner in Wildwood, New Jersey said he anticipates travel down at the Jersey Shore to be huge this summer because he said more families should feel comfortable driving locally than getting on a plane to travel to a farther destination.

"The phones are ringing off the hook and the reservations are pouring in left and right, it's nonstop," said John Donio, the president of Downtown Wildwood Business Improvement and owner of Daytona Inn and Suites.
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