The Coronavirus has caused panic in the travel industry with overwhelming amounts of cancellations, rescheduling and changes being made. This is when many wish they booked directly or had worked with a travel agency to plan ones vacation.
OTA’s Under Pressure
The long waiting time spent on the phone to try to reach a representative to then just be disconnected and to ultimately get no answer has become a reality for many travellers booked with OTA’s. OTA’s have been unable to answer to the influx of calls. Ultimately unable to assist guests with changing their travel plans.
Statement from the article from Book It’s website reads:
“BookIt.com has paused normal operations, and the international destinations we service have closed their borders to arrivals. Due to the nature of this unprecedented pandemic, we have had to close our call centers. Centers in Florida, Jamaica, and El Salvador have been closed. This, effectively, means that we will be unable to provide agent assistance in cancelling any upcoming trips.”
This is just one of many OTA’s unable to handle the influx of enquires. Despite the major repercussions from the outbreak, one thing that has come to light is the importance of booking direct or with a travel advisor who is there to assist.
Reason to Book With A Travel Agency has Become Clear
Belize is a small country with tourism being a driving economic factor. Many hotels and businesses in the tourism sector are small family run businesses. Alike travel advisors, small businesses have also been working around the clock to assist guests with making changes to guests travel plans.
According to Louise Roe, a travel advisor at ROEming Belize, a Belizean run travel agency
“In times of crisis, we are here on call 24/7 to listen to our guests travel concerns and assist with finding alternative solutions and options with our travel partners which set us apart. ”
Many hotels, and tour operators have been particularly forgiving. Many offering flexible future credit options so guests do not lose out.
“It’s been a team effort on both ends. Travel advisors and suppliers have been working hand in hand to keep each other and guests well informed and well taken care of.”
The one to one personal customer service contact is what OTA’s will never be able to fill.
When thinking of travelling to Belize, book your trip direct with those in the tourism industry or get in touch with a local travel agency to help you plan a tailor-made Belize Itinerary. Caribbean Lifestyle offers a list of Belize Hotels and other travel resources on Belize to can be useful when planning your Belize Vacation.