theZoomer on Travel

theZoomer on Travel

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[triumphant music] [keyboard clicking] [playful music] [keyboard clicking] [playful music] [high-intensity music] - You're going to have to change the way in which you perceive travel, you know, for the foreseeable future, you know, we're all gonna be wearing these masks and it's not something that's going to disappear very quickly. - It's passport, it's proof brackets of vaccination and PCR. - When is the best time to book? - Now - Now? - Now, because we know there's pent up demand. People are putting hope in their travel calendar for the year ahead. - From the Zoomer flex in historic Liberty village.

The Zoomer with Marissa Lennon. [triumphant music] - Welcome to the Zoomer I'm Marissa Lennox and a big welcome to our live remote audience, joining us today. It's great to see your faces now as with previous crises of similar scale, COVID-19 will reshape the world in lasting ways.

How we travel is no exception. Although the vaccine has led the path to recovery, the travel and tourism industry has had to pivot in a big way. On today's show we look at key changes from the future of air travel to more sustainable models of tourism, plus everything you need to know before booking that next trip. But before we dive in, let's get the topic.

[triumphant music] - Canadians are dreaming again of beaches, mountains, and monuments. After more than a year of closed borders and halted air travel. According to one report, domestic flight surge, 108% from may to June this summer, while international bookings climb 141% over the same period. Fall trips are also on the rise, despite Delta Variant concerns.

As for what's driving the upward trend Canadians say, reconnection travel, revitalization travel, and revenge travel are their top reasons. Meanwhile, over 70% plan to incorporate physical activities in their upcoming trip and 40% hope to prioritise rest. As for the future of travel itself all indicators point to... ♪ Sunny Days ♪ ♪ Sunny sunny sunny days ♪ - Joining me now is John Groddeck McGill global aviation professor and former air Canada executive.

John, it's so great to have you here. The most significant change in air travel today was announced just recently by the federal government that all air travellers boarding a plane in Canada must provide proof of full vaccination. Let's start there with your reaction. - Well, I think it's a, it's a foregone conclusion that we would get to this point.

I think that, you know, the, the world really is waiting for vaccinations to hit a critical mass. I think that, you know, we're talking 75, 85, 90% vaccination rates that somehow some way that will reach that, that will allow people to start socialising and start people to feel more comfortable in gatherings. And that translates to people on aeroplanes and in airports. - Do the aeroplanes and airports want it? do the airlines rather and airports want it? - Well, I think that depends on what country you're talking to You talk to the Canadian carriers and Canadian carriers are the most part, you know, welcoming because I think they, they want to see practises put in place that are, that reduce the fear of people flying.

And I think that, you know, they've made a very good point from the start of the pandemic, that the actual environment on board an aeroplane and all of the filters that they have onboard the aeroplane really are protecting those passengers from transmission of the virus. But there's always a question of, you know, what does the travelling public bring along with them that could further the spread of the virus and community transmission at the destination. And I think that's where the Canadian government and a number of other governments around the world that said, you know, double vaccination will not only improve the quality of travel in the aeroplane and the airport, but it will also protect the population at your destination. - Now it's clear people are hitting the skies again. I think there's that sort of pent up demand this desire to travel, but there's also that concern about whether or not it's safe Irregardless of whether you're vaccinated.

I know that I personally have spoken to people who are double vaxxed and still have concerns about air travel. So how have airlines pivoted to make it safer? What have they put in place to, you know, make it a safer environment for, for their customers? - Yeah. If you look at travel air travel a couple of years ago in the fall of 2019, and you benchmark that against what's happening today in terms of the practises the airports and the airlines have put in place in the fall of 2021, it is a vastly different world.

You know, you talk about going to an airport now and it's for the most part, a touchless experience, don't touch anything. You basically walk in there and you basically manage your way through the airport environment, not touching anything. And you have sanitation, you have, you know, you have towelettes, you have all kinds of stuff in place that basically say, I will not be in a situation where I will compromise my health because I'm touching things. And so, and you sit back and you say, okay, and you go onboard an aeroplane and the cleanliness onboard the aeroplane, the hygiene aboard the aeroplane compared to what it was two years ago, plus it is vastly different.

They basically sanitise the aeroplane. They'd go through a, an inordinate amount of work to basically clean up the aeroplane so that when you get on an aeroplane, you know, there is very little residual hygienic issues associated from the previous trip. So, it's very different and it's much more hygienic. - Even before COVID I think the romance of travel was starting to wane and so far as, you know, travel can be stressful and you mentioned a contactless environment.

I think there are a lot of people that would feel overwhelmed by that. I mean, on top of that, you've got long lines at, at airports and now you add in all of the COVID protocols that people require in order to just, you know, get through security and customs if they're travelling internationally. So, you know, I think the future of travel and air travel will depend on more than just travellers, pent up demand. I think airports and airlines will have to make changes in the way that they do things to make it a better experience. Do you think that we will ever get back to the old days of travel when it was leisurely? - You know, I think that, you know, the world has changed significantly since March of 2020 and I liken it back to the days, you know, prior to 9/11, you know, I used to fly prior to 9/11 and I basically show up at the airport 15 minutes before departure and get on an aeroplane.

9/11 changed that fundamentally in terms of all of the screening and all of the protocols that we have for security, same, thing's going to happen with the pandemic. We will in fact be much more conscious about the environment in which we fly in which we operate through an airport and, you know, for the foreseeable future, you know, we're all going to be wearing these masks and it's not something that's going to disappear very quickly. People will be looking at masks as being part of the environment. And so you, you're going to have to change the way in which you perceive travel and in the way, what you experienced travel now with the vaccination passports, are we going to be requiring as of October 30th or November 30th, depending on the data that you look at, that's going to add time to travel.

So you're going to have to show up at the airport, you know, a good few hours, two, three hours before your flight, basically go through all the protocols associated with, you know, checking vaccination, passports, and going through security and doing all that. And that's not going to go away. - I'd like you to touch on just, just ever so briefly. I've seen some of the headlines that say the future of air travel is high tech, but what are some of the other technologies that are being deployed now in travel. - You're saying, you know, a phenomenal number of new ways to go about, you know, checking and making your, your trip as, as contactless as possible. And I think that's the key word, you know, in this, in the future of travel is going to be don't touch anything.

Don't touch anything, keep your mask on as, as often, and as long as you can except when you're eating or drinking. But, you know, even then, you know, you're going to be asked to basically eat before you get on an aeroplane. Don't eat on an aeroplane. And if you're going to drink on an aeroplane, make it quick. And so there are technologies that are going to be showing up both at the airport where you'll have biometrics, where you don't have to do anything in terms of taking any of your information out.

You basically have things like retinal scans, you have fingerprints, you have a number of other, you know, biometrically design technologies that will identify you and only you as being able to in fact, get on an aeroplane. So whether it's a check-in to check your bags, whether it's at the gate, when they now look at your passport or look at your driver's licence and get on an aeroplane, that's not going to happen. You're basically going to be looking at biometric data, being the one qualifier that confirms you are who you are. you've got all of the data that supports your legitimacy to travel in that biometric scan. - Fascinating stuff. All right, John, thank you.

We need to take a short break. We'll be right back with more of The Zoomer. [triumphant music] [clapping] - In Florida alone, Canadians spend about $3.5 billion a season. So not even over a year So if you think about two winters and maybe three, depending on how people still feel about travelling to places like Florida, it's a, it is a massive loss. [triumphant music] - Welcome back. It isn't too soon to start thinking about the upcoming holiday travel season.

In fact, some predict it'll be as busy as ever here to share the latest travel updates, plus their tips and recommendations for better travel is Vivian Vassos, Executive Editor and resident travel specialist at Zoomer magazine and and Ron Lonsdale, Vice President of Collette Tourists, Canada. Great to have you both in studio, Ron, I wanted to start with you because as I mentioned, people are thinking about holiday travel for the first time, perhaps in two years. So my question is when is the best time to book? - Now! - Now - Now, because we know there's pent up demand. People are putting hope in their travel calendar for the year ahead, with all the exciting news and vaccine certificates and passports and bordering opening up, and the airlines are making it more accommodating, more efficient to travel and I think people are now are, you know, have lost 18 months of travel, so right now capacity, if you look at it because the U S have certain too, they've started to travel before us.

And so if you're looking at going to your favourite spot or your favourite destination spaces going to be at a low capacity, so you've got to take advantage of it now. - And how about travelling on the holiday itself? - Oh, like we're talking Christmas, Christmas? - Like you travel on Christmas, are the flights cheaper? Are there some benefits to that? - No, I bet you're going to be paying a premium because of the demand to travel at that particular time. Because as you know, there's only so much holiday time people get, and it's generally in and around the holidays. So this is where, you know, you're doing your homework and your research, but I would definitely reach out to your travel advisor and start, you know, having that conversation.

- Now Vivian, the federal government is still recommending against non essential travel, but still people are planning for the future. I think we have to remember though, that despite vaccination rates being what they are COVID is still very much a factor. So what do people need to remember in that environment? - Well, I agree. I think that it's still very fluid and to Ron's point, travelling booking now is really important.

One of the things that's been happening during this time is a shorter window so what you need to know is you have a team get that team working. So whether it's a travel advisor, working with a group travel, those are really important things because they can answer a lot of your questions because things change every day. Today, there was another travel announcement from the government. So every day things change.

And it's so key, even knowing where you're going. So working with your hotel, use your team. The concierge is part of your team. The front desk is part of your team. So before you go, these guys are actually answering phones again.

That's another great thing about what's happened is the silver lining people are picking up the phone. So you can call the hotel and ask the questions, call your travel agent or advisor. It's just so important to have a team behind you. no matter how you go.

- Vivian mentioned fluidity and oh God, is it ever fluid? I mean, it feels like it has been for the last two years, but one of the latest announcements of course, is that the land borders reopening between Canada and the United States and there's so much that's involved with that, will we require testing? I guess you don't even need testing to cross the land border at this point. - You don't. So we're always asking for more clarity, and more announcements are to come from our government.

But as we know that you're, if you're driving across the land border, you're not required any type of testing, but we don't know of what's going to be required to return home. So, as you know, when you fly to the United States who required an antigen, rapid tests, as we talked about Vivian, but coming home, you're required a PCR test. So again, it's, these things constantly change and well, you know, we'll be providing more clarity in the coming weeks. - It's actually amazing to consider the loss from an economic perspective of having that land border closed. When it comes to, you know, many snowbirds didn't travel south last year, and they'll be travelling for the first time this year, Vivian, so - Absolutely, a massive loss.

the government, the us government says that in Florida alone Canadians spend about $3.5 billion a season. So not even over a year. So if you think about two winters and maybe three, depending on how people still feel about travelling to places like Florida, it's a, it is a massive loss and an investment, I mean our time and how we invest in, in the United States, for example. - So what your checklist for everyone who's watching today, who's thinking about booking a trip. What do they need to know and to do in advance? - Well, aside from talking to a travel agent or an advisor, I have, I have a list. I call it the three P's.

So it's passport, it's proof brackets of vaccination and PCR. So your proof of your test, so passport, proof, PCR, your test. And if you're armed with those things, even print outs, you don't need a smartphone. If you can get it printed out. If you can ask your travel advisor to send print the documents for you or your kids to do it, if you don't have a printer at home, it really makes sense to be armed with that.

But the other P is patience, patience, patience, patience, everything is going to take longer because as Canadians, I think also we, we have this idea of respect and respecting space and physical distance. We want to be social. So patience is key. So you do have to add an hour to the airport. You may have to add an hour to your drive over the border and know that waiting for those tests is nerve-wracking, but also patient, because if you're not armed with all your information, you can't go. - Now Ron, you've been to over 60 countries, which is impressive.

It's quite impressive. Where would you like to return in 2022? - Definitely go, want to revisit Ireland, Spain. I know we work with the tourism board partners, but we've really improved the customer experience more of a cultural connection. And when it comes to culinary immersions, and, you know, there's places that in Spain that the Basque region that I've never even been to, that I hear about these cider houses with the grilled meats and Tappas, and then we have a new foodie tour in Galway. So it's like, man, I gotta get back there. - Yeah. And Vivian, same question to you.

I'm, you know, you've travelled all over the place. So is there one destination, two, three, couple of destinations in particular you are looking forward to revisiting again for the first time in couple of years. - Well, I think digging deeper into the places that you love and that you are for me anyway, that I'm familiar with I think a lot of travellers will feel that way.

Okay, I already know that destination, maybe that'll make me feel more comfortable about going again and also places that special things are happening. So for me next year, I really I'm looking forward to the Floriade in Holland, if you're a gardener or a horticultural fan, and I'll be travelling with Collette on that, and it's going to be amazing. It's something that only happens every 10 years. I think those special places in your friends, family, those wide open spaces are the places that I'm looking for.

London, of course, the UK. It is the Queen's Jubilee again. Next year, the Commonwealth games are happening in the UK. So of course the foodie destinations always Italy, Spain. - Got it. Got it. Definitely. - There is so many to be talking about to you.

And just, you know, again, friends and family reuniting with them in those wide open spaces, I think - Well, and I'm a bit of a foodie myself, so I agree with you there. All right. Great advice you guys.

Thanks for being here. When we come back two of the top destinations to add to your travel list for 2022, we'll tell you about it next. [triumphant music] - Dublin is a really old ancient city. You know, it's a Viking historic city and there's so much to see and do and it's surrounded by the Irish sea on the mountain.

So you can enjoy that city experience, music, dancing, and then you can also go on a hike the next day or go kayaking. [triumphant music] [clapping] - Well, the pandemic brought the global tourism industry to its knees last year. The roll out of vaccines against COVID-19 has given government officials in many countries, including Spain and Ireland, new confidence to welcome visitors again, joining me now is Sandra Moffatt with tourism, Ireland and Barbara Maria Couteau with tourism, Spain. Welcome to the programme ladies.

Sandra, let me start with you What you know is, is Ireland open for non-essential travel to Canadians and what are the restrictions that are currently in place? - We've been open since July 19th and for a fully vaccinated travellers. So if you are fully vaccinated, there is no travel related quarantines, no testing requirements whatsoever. If you're travelling with children between the ages of 12 and 17, they need a negative PCR test, but that's about it.

Ireland is, you know, really safe and open at the moment. We were actually just voted by Bloomsburg COVID compliance ranker as the number one destination to travel to post COVID. That's measured by the social and economic impact. Canada is also doing really well at number 14 So I feel like it's a natural fit for travel between Canada and Ireland, right now.

- Definitely and they say, when you go to Ireland, who longs to come back, now, Barbara sort of same question to you. Are you guys open for Canadians? What are the restrictions? The COVID restrictions in place? - Yes, the Spain has opened to Canadians Canadians can visit Spain and the only requirement is to filling a health control form. Further restrictions, the situation now is quite good the number of cases is quite low in Spain and the vaccination rate is very high. So there is no restrictions to mobility. You can find some restrictions to capacity in some regions and of course you will have to wear a mask, keep social distancing. - Do you need to be vaccinated to enter Spain? - No, You don't need to be vaccinated no, because Canada is in the safe list.

- That's the key with travel right now is you need to know what the different restrictions and rules are in, in many of the countries. And I'm sure you guys deal with that a lot. - I can't keep up with it. It's sometimes it's like the wild west for travel entry requirements. So what we've done on our website is the travelling while experience.

It's a landing page. We have referred partnership with CIBT. So it just, you know, the country you're from the passport you hold and the destination you're going and it's updated daily so that it provides, you know, the needed information for the guests to know before going. - Sandra let me ask you then sell Ireland to us. What are the top destinations that you would recommend we visit when we come.

- For me, its number one Dublin Now I'm a little biassed because I'm from there. It's my hometown. But Dublin is a very old ancient city. You know, it's a Viking historic city and so much to see and do it's surrounded by the Irish sea on the mountains.

So you can enjoy that city experience, music, dancing, and then you can also go on a hike the next day or go kayaking, you know, down our river Lethe and under our famous Haven new bridge, there's just so much to see and do there. So that would be my number one top spot. I'm also a big, big fan of Northern Ireland. It's incredible. There's a stoning drive that you can go right up from Dublin city north along the Causeway, coastal route is what it's known as You can go through the capital city of Belfast all along the coast and then end up in Derry Londonderry.

Derry is known as the walled city. It has ancient city walls over 400 years old. It's the home of Halloween as well. Really topical right now Halloween is just around the corner. That has one of the best fall festivals in the world. And it's also a home of contemporary history.

I have a lot of murals and artwork in the city and they're made by local artists or political statements known as the people's galleries. You can really get a sense of feel of the city there. - Just going back to your home of Halloween comment. So Halloween originated in Ireland is that true? - It did indeed 3000 years ago, it was the festival of samhain And a lot of the traditions that we have here in Canada now, like carving pumpkins, actually originated in Ireland where we used to carve turnips And when we immigrated, we couldn't find turnips.

So we just started using pumpkins instead. - I love it. That's so cool. Barbara, you know, Spain is a place that continues to surprise me. It's not just sunbathing and shopping.

There's so much to do in Spain. What are your top destinations. - We have Saint James, because this year, is Xacobeo year, it's a holy year this is a pilgrimage route that leads to Santiago de Compostela, in Calafat. And it goes through Northern Spain and then another recommendation for now and always, is Santa Lucia it's always a recommendation it's very well known because it's where flamingo was born And also it has an impressive Islamic art heritage that you can enjoy in cities like Granada, Syria or Cordoba that are also very workable cities. And then it's weird to recommend a big city these days But I'm going to recommend Barcelona because even if it's a big city They have developed an app which is Check Barcelona where you can actually verify in real time how many people are in a touristic space. Barcelona have an incredible cultural agenda and it's a great place for architecture lovers.

You can discover more of this [indistinct] - The thing about tourism that I find so fascinating is, you know, a lot of these tourists destinations, Ron, Vivian have really had an opportunity for a reboot. So with the drop in tourism, maybe they're rethinking the type of tourists that they want to attract, or maybe how they do tourism. Have you found a lot of that? - Yeah, it's great collaboration within our industry.

So it, you know, travel is going to be more meaningful, purposeful. We know we say travels to true educator it's one of the very few things that can, you can buy that makes you richer and you know, that's, they're showcasing their, their countries, their destinations and the one, one thing is we're very fortunate is that we do a multi-day guided vacations, both in Spain and Ireland. And they're both top destination for Canadians. - Well, Vivian the other thing is, I think previously before COVID, when people would book trips, it was sort of about affordability and bragging rights.

And today it looks much different. People are looking for to, to, to be for opportunities to be stewards of the earth. So for more sustainable travel options, how significant will that be going forward? - I think it is very significant. I do think people really care about how they go now. If you think about what has could potentially be lost because we weren't travelling even to places like where you can see the gorillas in Africa and not having that income and losing that ability to take care of those animals is, is brutal and, and just devastating.

So we really help when we go to places like that. I think the other thing is taking, taking a destination like Spain, for example, there's the pilgrimage, there's the way of the Camino, the way of St James, but now the pilgrimage is also about food and drink and enriching yourself and that experience and bringing that experience home. So it's health, it's happiness, and also thinking about, and again with Ireland as well, wide open spaces, friends and family, again, bringing it back to teaching the next generation, how you can travel a little lighter, a little more softly, but still experience those things that have meaning and bring it back home with you. - All right. All great insights. We'll be right back with more of Zoomer.

[triumphant music] [clapping] - Buy now, buy as soon as you possibly can, when you're thinking about going and travelling, travel insurance premiums do change just like inflation changes. [triumphant music] [triumphant music] - Welcome back now, more than ever, travellers really need to be aware of what it is they're buying when it comes to travel insurance. Umesh Manani travel insurance partner for the McLennan group joins me now to discuss why travel insurance is a must and how to book. Umesh you mentioned it's great to see you. The thing about travel insurance is it's a get it and forget it type of thing.

Someone said that to me once and I like it because they think if I have a MasterCard, therefore I must have travel insurance. But as you know, the biggest reason why claims are often denied is because the person doesn't know what he or she bought. So if there is one silver lining, that's come from COVID it certainly, at least in the insurance industry space, it's that people are paying attention to what it is their buying and really trying to understand those limitations. So why don't we start there? What should someone be looking for when shopping for travel insurance? - Yeah. You know, it is definitely something that is important, especially more so now than ever before. I like to use the analogy of like buying a car.

What do you do when you purchase a car? You don't just look at one and be like, oh yeah, that's the one I want. And you buy it. You know, you go around and you shop around every provider has different benefits, different things that you, that will be beneficial for you particularly, but more so when it comes to your health profile, there might be some insurances out there that cover health conditions that may not be covered elsewhere. So I think the biggest advice that I can give to anybody purchasing travel insurance is really finding a policy that fits not just your health profile, but any other benefit that you might think you have. i.e trip cancellation, trip interruption. all of these things have to be considered, especially in the climate that we're in today. Compare those benefits against, you know, that cheaper one, you know, oh, they offered me that 31 on, on the website.

Let me see what that one's all about. Really take a look at what benefits are offered and make an informed decision. - Now if someone is planning a trip when is the best time to purchase that insurance? - Buy now, buy as soon as you possibly can. When you're thinking about going and travelling, travel insurance premiums do change just like inflation changes.

So I would say buy it as soon as possible buy it with enough time to really read it. I don't know if he likes to read that fine print in the book. I'm just like that as well. I don't want to read it, but since being in this industry, that's the first place I go.

So I would definitely recommend as soon as possible. Don't wait till the last minute we see this so often that people just are like, oh yeah, it was an afterthought. Now it should be part of that planning process. As you go through your travel questions.

- Is it a must have, especially if you're going to the U S for example. - Absolutely. If I could use any word, the word is absolutely. You mentioned it and you said it very well.

The implications of getting healthcare treatment in the U S could be financially devastating. I've seen incredible bills to say the least for very minor things. The US their whole system is a lot different than what we find here in Canada. And they're able to charge us really anything they want, and you don't want to have that burden, especially when you're going and your purpose of trip is to go and relax. You want to have that peace of mind, especially in the US you need to have that travel insurance, because you just never know what can happen. - So you've purchased your travel insurance.

You're now at your vacation. What happens if there's a travel advisory or some other thing, a curve ball that comes at you? - Yeah, no. And that's a, that's a great question, because I think oftentimes people are at destination when, when things are happening, but the biggest thing to know is what are you covered for in that particular moment? What travel advisories exist in that current moment? Because really, it depends on when those travel advisories were put into place and when you purchase that policy.

So be very clear on what you're purchasing today. Be clear on what is covered for you and be extra clear on how those travel advisories may impact your travel. - Well. And how about your vaccine status?

Can you even get travel insurance without being vaccinated? - You can, you can. Yes. The, there are products out there that are, that base their benefits off of your vaccine status. So if you, if you don't have the vaccinations, you may have a lower policy maximum that you'd be covered for.

Whereas if you're fully vaccinated, there's higher policy maximums that exist for you. So it really does depend on the product that you're purchasing. Some products don't cover it at all. So you just need to make sure that what you're going to, when you're going to your destination and you're coming for everything that could possibly have. - Hmm. That's an interesting point. Probably one of the reasons why many people are choosing to get vaccinated as they head into the, to the winter season.

They're thinking about snowbirding, but what happens if say you are away and you're required to quarantine for some reason. So whether you test positive or what have you, or maybe you've come into contact with somebody who's tested positive and suddenly you can't travel anymore. Are you covered for that? - Great, great question. And again, there are products out there that will cover you for quarantine. They will provide a maximum benefit throughout the day, even for meal expenses and accommodations if you have to stay for a little bit longer, but again, there are other products that simply don't have that coverage. So it's so important that you do read that fine print, looking for that quarantine, looking for the COVID section, especially to read that full and ensure that you know, every coverage that you can possibly think of, that you might need, that you don't want to be, you know, stuck with is covered for you.

- I guess the question, you know, I mentioned it in the beginning and I think a lot of people think I am covered because my credit card covers me and they may not know all the fine print. And I know you've mentioned it a lot, but what advice do you have for that individual who thinks I'm covered? My Amex covers me. My MasterCard covers me. I don't need travel insurance because I'm already covered. - Yes. And that's definitely something that comes up with,

with a lot of our insurance partners. You get this question from a lot of people and quite frankly, it comes down to the fine print again. What does your travel benefit What are your travel benefits on your credit card? Take a look at that book. And if you don't have the book go to the bank's websites and really take a look at the certificate to identify, yes, they may sell you on it has travelled benefits, but you may later find out that there may not be trip interruption benefits.

There may not be true cancellation benefits. there may not be baggage benefits. There there's one little coverage. And they're saying, yes, there's travel benefits, which they're not wrong.

It's just, you know, it's a selling point rather than being adequately covered. - Okay. Well, before I let you go, this is a question we get a lot and it's about testing, but for travel. So what are those requirements as they stand today? - Yeah, that's one where I think what you, if you've heard anything is to really take a look at what the climate is today in the countries that you're going to, including the country you're leaving from.

You know, you guys mentioned it earlier at a rapid antigen is acceptable to enter the US but it's not acceptable to come back into Canada. So all of those variances and nuances, you have to go to the government websites, you know, take a look at, you know, what that particular country requires you to do when you get there. And it's so important that you do that because the worst thing that you want to have happen is you get all the way to your destination. You're in that customs checkpoint.

And they say, oh, you didn't bring X, Y, or Z, or you don't have that. And then they'd be turned away. So be sure you do your research. I can't explain that enough. Do your research because things could be different tomorrow.

- Umesh thank you so much for this. Don't go away. We'll be right back. [triumphant music] - The fact that going to the US you needed an antigen test, but coming back, you needed a PCR test, a much more expensive test. And I just wondered if one test was more effective at detecting COVID than the other, like why the difference.

[triumphant music] [triumphant music] [clapping] - Welcome back. Let's check in with our live remote audience for some of their questions now. And we'll start with you, Lynette. Welcome to the panel. - My question related to the fact that going to the US you needed an antigen test but with coming back you needed a PCR test, a much more expensive test. And I just wondered if one test was more effective at detecting COVID than the other, like why the difference? - Well, I just had that experience recently, Lynette, the antigen test is a very rapid test.

It takes about 15 minutes and it is a bit more superficial. It does. It does The results are pretty accurate.

The government of the United States, they accept it. So it's all good to go, and it's much less expensive, but the PCR test, depending on where you go again, this is why research is important and if you can get online, I would check the destination, some places, for example, New York city, they have mobile clinics all over the city and they are free for a PCR test. It is much more involved, a little more invasive if you haven't had the test before, but it also takes longer to get the results. And I think that's really important to know is if you, depending on timing, that's really important. You've got to do the math before you leave Canada and when you come back because it's a 72 hour window, and, but it is more effective according to experts here in Canada in detecting any sort of infection or any sort of COVID infection.

- Thank you, Lynette. The next question is from Dan. Hey Dan. - I'm a travel writer and a travel photographer, and I have inquired recently of four different travel insurers about travel insurance for COVID. And they've all replied that my travel insurance will cover me for COVID related issues.

Once I'm in the country, I'm going to, but will not cover trip cancellation insurance. If I have to cancel my trip for any COVID related reason before I leave for my trip. And I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions on what travel insurance company I could go to to get insurance for trip cancellation? - Yes.

As a wholesaler, we're provided a travel protection plan that covers COVID and covered interruption. And also it's a Part A and a Part B. So our Part A is the waiver, which anybody can change their mind 24 hours prior to departure and get a full cash refund.

Throughout the last 17 months, you know, Collette is given back $180 million in cash refund. We did the fiduciary responsibility. If we didn't render a travel service, we don't keep people's monies. And so what we have done under this full travel protection plan, it AAA, baggage, medical assistance emergency and if you were to test positive at destination, or are while on tour with us, that interruption would be covered for that travel writer.

- Interesting. Pretty comprehensive. All right. Thanks, Dan. The next question comes from Deborah. Hey, Debra. - My question is I recently booked a cruise with princess, which I've since cancelled, but doing research. I discovered that there, the passengers are mandated to be vaccinated except under 12, but crew members are not mandated and I'm just questioning.

Why is that? It just doesn't seem right. That crew members don't have to be vaccinated. - Yeah. Seems a little bit backwards. Can anyone comment? - I well, just on our multi-day guided tours, you know, from our tour directors, from our drivers, from hotel staff, vendors, they have to be fully vaccinated and we require our guests to be fully vaccinated. So that's an con you know, to be compliant and conform to the, to the health and safety protocols in working with Collette. So I can't speak on behalf of the cruise lines, but what we do on our coach tours is that everybody who's in contact or dealings with our guests have to be fully vaccinated.

- And I think too, it depends on the destination. So many of the cruises are leave from US ports. So if Florida isn't mandating people in the hospitality industry or in the tourism industry to have their vaccines the companies aren't necessarily mandating them as well. I think that's the thing to think about. And again, when you plug into your team with your travel advisor and the cruise lines themselves all have 1-800-NUMBERS.

And I think, I think it is a good reason to maybe think twice about going, if you're not comfortable and go somewhere else where, you know, the mandates are a bit maybe stricter. Cause I don't think we should stop going. I just think we have to make better choices. - That's a great point All right, when we come back final thoughts from our panellists, that's next. [triumphant music] [triumphant music] Welcome back to the Zoomer.

It's time for final thoughts from our panellists. So we'll start with Sandra. Hey, Sandra. - We wants to encourage people to go to get on the plane.

You know, our job is to make things as safe and simple as possible. And we have just launched a brand new campaign. It's called a green button. The idea being that green is synonymous with the emerald isle with Ireland and also the word go. if you go onto our website right now,,

you'll see a lot of amazing travel deals from our partners like Collette vacation on our airlines, but have incredible travel deals. So there's really great body right there. And it's just time to start travelling again. - Barbara - I understand the concerns that some people don't have to travel again, but did you decide to do so? Know that the famous destination, that all protocols are in place and that the tourism industry is prepared to work on you. And to keep updated about the restriction the website to verify your is - Well, we can't wait to reconnect in the joy and love of travel, and we're very fortunate, blessed to have Vivian host two exciting tours next year one to the Floriad it's an Elmer, Amsterdam and the other one will be a Tuscany Umbria concentrating on two amazing regions in Italy.

So, you know, if you want to go onto the website, look at the travelling wall experience and just be sure that the health and safety is the first and foremost the priority or for guests. And we've put packages and protocols in place to assure you to give you that reassurance in travelling. - I think if you're still a bit nervous, it's time to dip your toe into the travel waters, whether it's just outside your own backdoor.

I think Canada right now, especially holidays seeing your friends and family who you've been away from is a really a really important thing because we need those reasons to travel. Why are we going? And yes, please come with me next year to Holland and to Italy because those are great reasons, especially if you're a gardener or if you are a foodie. So these reasons, again, talking about Ireland and Spain, they're great reasons to travel to those places cause it's, there's so much in the destinations that enriches you. - Awesome. And Umesh.

- Yeah. I mean, you're ready to go. Don't forget your travel insurance. Don't forget to understand your benefits and if you're not fully sure of what benefits you have, you know, speak to a broker and take the time to do that and understand what's going on.

You can find more information about the contact information for us at - Perfect. All right. Well, a big thank you to our live virtual audience and of course, to my panellists for all of your expertise and for being here, it was so great to have you. That's all the time we have.

We'll see you soon for now. It's time to zoom out. [clapping] [triumphant music]

2021-11-03 09:00

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