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Booming travel industry wary of rising COVID cases

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise one industry that could be affected is travel, airports and travel agencies have seen a boom over the past few months but will that be able to continue?

The industry has not taken any major hits yet from rising COVID cases but those in the field locally are taking a wait and see approach and preparing to adapt if the situation worsens. “The biggest factor affecting travel right now is the unknown and uncertainties and a lack of confidence,” said Terrie Dean, owner of The Wishing Well travel agency.

The Wishing Well has seen a business boom for the last few months but as COVID cases continue to climb the travel industry could once again be thrown for a loop like it was early in the pandemic. “We’re in a different ball game right now we have seen billions of dollars worth of lose to all these vendors so we don’t know what would happen if this delta variant gets out of control again,” said Dean.

For Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport they say June was one of the best months they’ve had in a long time, and while they are keeping an eye on the rise in cases they haven’t seen any signs of things slowing down. “There are a lot of people in the community that still plan to travel and we’ve not really had a lot of calls to this point of folks wanting to change wanting to cancel, asking how to go about doing that, certainly that could change,” said Greg Campbell, the airport’s executive director.

SHD says it has kept all of it’s COVID-19 safety protocols in place even after restrictions were lifted, they say that combined with their smaller size has made a safer experience for passengers. “We’ve got a lot of good feedback from people in the community that they do feel more comfortable traveling locally where it’s not as crowded and they have that ease of access,” said Campbell.

Terri Dean says it is important that people remain cautious while traveling. “My job here at the Wishing Well is to ensure that people when they travel know that those restrictions are still in place, we are still in the middle of a pandemic,” she said.

One more note for those still nervous about flying SHD says that contrary to popular belief the inside of an airplane is actually safer than most places when it comes to COVID-19. This is because the air cycles so often inside the plane that it can limit aerial transmission of COVID.

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