ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – With Summer now in full swing and Covid-19 vaccines in the arms of millions across the country, the travel industry is once again taking off not only nationwide, but also here at home.
“The response has been significant and the desire to get out and to enjoy our region has been really high,” Co-owner of “Experience! The Finger Lakes” Laura Winter Falk said. “As soon as the weather got nice and people got vaccinated, they kept coming [to us]. We only have two to three dates in July left for booking .”
Travel was especially prevalent over the Fourth of July weekend. American’s took to the sky or hit the road in huge numbers – on Friday alone, the TSA screened over two million people, the highest number since March of 2020. That same day, “Gas Buddy” reported the greatest single-day demand for fuel since 2019.
That surge in demand is a relief for local businesses who are booking up fast, though not all of them are up and running at full capacity yet.
“We’re taking our 14 passenger Ford transit and putting six people in there and having them spaced. That’s all we put in the vehicle,” Winter Falk said. “But we like having the bigger vehicle for our shared tours so people feel comfortable being in a vehicle with other people they don’t know.”
Despite the pandemic precautions being taken, the question of whether travel for families with unvaccinated members is safe, still looms. Experts tell 18 News it’s ok as long as safety measures are taken.
“Parents could take their unvaccinated children on vacation. If flying is part of that vacation, certainly they should be wearing masks and distancing themselves whenever possible,” Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith said.
The good news for worries families – many pandemic precautions are still in place. Destinations not only across the Twin Tiers, but also the country, are requiring things like proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, masks for unvaccinated individuals and use of hand sanitizer.