Travel agency hoping for a rebound in tourism

Posted at 6:57 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 07:57:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City travel agent is hoping business returns after many trips were canceled because of COVID-19.

Mark Ebbitts with Shelton Travel Service said the pandemic forced trips to be canceled in March, April and May, resulting in a big economic loss for the business.

"We've canceled over $700,000 worth of travel. So we furloughed, our staff. We intend on bringing back our staff between June 1 and June 15, but it just depends on when the phone starts ringing again," Ebbitts said.

Ebbitts said travel options appear to be opening up for June and July.

"I'm telling people think of the US for this summer, Hawaii anywhere in the USA. And as we get farther into the fall and winter season, then that opens up places like the Caribbean and Mexico, and more warm destinations," he said.

To reassure travelers, Ebbitts said he plans to travel this summer.

"I'm taking trips. I'm to get a trip scheduled in mid June to Florida. I've got a trip scheduled in July to Mexico, and a trip to California scheduled in August to take my daughter back to college. So I feel okay," he explained.

The travel expert is also hearing from Kansas City Chiefs fans excited about the NFL season after the league released their schedule for 2020.

"We've already gotten five or six calls about people wanting to go the Tampa Bay game, and people wanting to go to the New Orleans game, and with the new deal in Vegas. With the Raiders, people are really excited about going to that, we've got five or six bookings ready to go," he said.

Ebbitts said he expects the cruise line industry to have a slower rebound in business because of the pandemic and advised travelers with health issues and the elderly to push back trips to 2021.