Delaware County travel agency says it's lost $1 million due to COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The travel industry is being decimated by the coronavirus.

Premier Travel in Springfield Township, Delaware County has been in the business since 1982. They say they've never taken a financial hit like the one they're going through right now because of the coronavirus.

"I would say we have lost over a million dollars worth of gross sales since the beginning of COVID-19 in this office alone. It could go to a million and a half if I lose up until the fall," said Maureen Ward-Rennie.

In the travel industry business, agents don't get a commission until the traveler has actually taken the trip. And right now, very few people are traveling.

"So not only did we lose all this business that we did the work for almost a year ago, we've lost all that revenue and now we don't have any new revenue," said Ward-Rennie.

But it's not just traveler unease that's putting a hold on travel.

Jill Hoffner and her husband were planning to travel to St. Martin in June for their 25th wedding anniversary. But not anymore.

"Actually our trip has been canceled, the resort has closed. They will not reopen until I believe the end of July," said Hoffner.

There's also the issue of airlines canceling reservations to certain destinations and countries requiring 14-day quarantines for people coming in from other places.

No travel means these agents have no income and some businesses might not survive.

Ward-Rennie thinks her business can weather the storm if people start traveling again by the fall.

"I would just say when you're looking to book your trip, call a travel agent. For no extra cost, they're going to give you service knowledge and their expertise and get you the best value out there and have service for you," said Ward-Rennie.

Ward-Ronnie forecasts that it could take up to five years for the industry to fully recover for those travel agencies that do survive.


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