No-one said that the road to recovery would be easy. Even though there have been ups and downs, we’d like to focus on the positive side.

Two weeks ago we were saddened by the news that on of the major travel agencies, D-reizen, went bankrupt, leaving over a 1000 employees jobless. It is to be expected that more will follow in the coming months. Business are drained of cash after countless customer refunds. Last year many consumers received vouchers for their cancelled or postponed trips (valid for 12 months) but are now requesting their money to be refunded for those unredeemed travel vouchers. Apart from this sad news, there are many things to be grateful for!

Dream big, go USA!

Last week was momentous on our shared road to recovery. Visit USA was able to execute its first live event since the onset of the pandemic, The Visit USA “Back on the Road” Show. Fifty very enthusiastic Dutch travel agents set off by car in a scavenger hunt of sorts, with 8 entertaining, USA themed and socially-distanced stops along the way. The feedback was great, everyone had fun and agents learned about the endless possibilities of the USA, embracing the concept “Dream Big: Go USA”.

Restrictions are slowly being lifted

The curfew, which has been in place since December, will finally be lifted and shops and restaurants will reopen on April 28, one day after our National Holiday “King’s Day”. As the number of vaccinated people is increasing, with 3 million Dutch receiving at least one shot (over 20% of residents aged 18+), the number of new infections and hospitalizations has stabilized. The next phase of reopening will occur on May 11 with indoor sports and zoos reopening, followed by expansion of activities and slowly expanding the size of permitted gatherings.

The Dutch are planning for the summer

Meanwhile, the Dutch people are generally optimistic about the summer. The Dutch worldwide travel ban will be lifted on May 15, but allowed travel will be country- specific. Anticipated first countries to be cleared will be UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Currently Iceland and Greece are welcoming vaccinated travelers without a need to quarantine, but travelers still have to produce two negative tests upon return back to The Netherlands. And as the annual school vacation period approaches (July-September) it is anticipated that the Dutch will mostly plan to vacation in Europe, with US travel possibly resuming around September.

All this said, we remain excited to plan for the future. We simply cannot wait to resume booking dream vacations for customers who are so eager to travel abroad again!

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy.