São Paulo – Vaccination prospects are prompting Brazilians to buy international tickets and travel packages. This is especially true for the elderly, who hope to be immune soon. At the start of the pandemic, overseas travel had continued due to business travel by executives and the younger population, but now older travelers have started shopping.
“The demand is strong from the second half of the year, because everyone is optimistic about vaccinations,” said Marcos Destro, one of the owners of the travel agency Líder Corporate Eventos & Lazer, aka Líder Corp, said. provision of travel packages for the second semester for people over 50 years old. “Older people buy more trips than younger people because they will have been vaccinated by the middle of the year. the youngest are looking for the 2022 holiday season and carnival, ”he says.
Since the start of the pandemic, Líder Corp has seen business travel represent the bulk of its activity. “The business market has never stopped. It slowed down. When the pandemic started, it got as slow as 30% of our usual sales, but now we’re at 60% to 70%, ”says Destro. He attributes this to the fact that in times of crisis, executives have to travel abroad to find business opportunities for their companies.
Before the pandemic, the elderly represented 80% of the activity of the travel agency and tour operator EGP Viagens. Its clientele has since moved to young audiences. “But I think this is only temporary and after the vaccinations the elderly will start traveling again,” says EGP owner Mohammed Darwish from Egypt.
According to him, Brazilians have been buying tickets for the post-vaccine since last November. “Seniors are buying for the end of this year. Those who have purchased tickets for the next two months are postponing their trips. They prefer to get vaccinated and then travel, ”he says, adding that popular destinations include Egypt and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Travel Plus owner Renato Aureliano is also seeing a rebound in travel. When the pandemic hit, he recalls, airlines put international tickets on sale. Most of these tickets have not been used and they are rescheduled for July and October of this year – some customers are waiting for the rescheduling to be extended until mid-2022, which some carriers have already done. The agency has issued numerous tickets to the United States, whose borders are currently closed to Brazilian travelers.
EGP: demand for Egypt and Dubai
Since many usual destinations currently do not accept Brazilians, due to new Covid-19 variants found in the country. As a result, Darwish points out that Egypt, Dubai, Turkey and the Maldives are the most sought after destinations at EGP.
The borders of Egypt and the Maldives are still open to flights from Brazil. Flights from Brazil to Dubai were permitted from the second half of 2020 until early February, but were suspended until February 10. Turkey has closed its borders to flights from Brazil. “Things are really complicated right now with this second variant of the coronavirus. We have to wait, keep working and trust that it will be over soon. We make people’s dreams come true. Traveling is a need that Brazilians have nowadays, and we are trying to make this dream come true in the best possible way, ”he says.
Líder: families returning to Lebanon
Líder Corp, which offers packages and tickets to the Arab world, experiences a constant demand for leisure travel to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. “Business only stopped during the closure of local airports,” said Destro, which saw 230 passengers to Lebanon in July and 320 in August. The Arab destination has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, as it is a business hub. Travel to Dubai resumed, but flights were then temporarily suspended, he said.
Líder Corp has divisions dedicated to the management of business travel, pleasure travel, group travel, events and mission support. His trips to Lebanon are offered through GoToBey, targeting immigrants and Arab descendants seeking to reunite with their families in the country.
Travel Plus: it’s time for a change
At Travel Plus, in addition to the rescheduling of clearance tickets, sales of holiday travel to the Caribbean were strong. “We have sold a lot of Caribbean packages because the restrictions are not as tight for travelers from Brazil. Whoever bought Europe or the United States could not go there, ”explains Aureliano. Demand for travel to Arab countries has been weak, except for trade shows at the start of this year.
As for domestic travel in Brazil, he says there is a demand for resorts where people can drive to. He also said that towards the end of the year demand was very high for Trancoso, Bahia. “Some of our clients who were going overseas see the countryside. Because of their age, they would prefer to go to the seaside resorts of the countryside of São Paulo, the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Búzios, Paraty ”, explains Aureliano.
Travel Plus is active in national and international business and leisure travel. It offers everything from separate tickets, hotels and tour guide services to full packages. The business segment is one of its strengths.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum