EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Travel season is here, but travel agencies are getting more and more phone calls as the coronavirus spreads and the fear amps up.
According to the most recent U. S. Government data, the travel and tourism industry supports 7.8 million jobs across the world and has grown for the last nine years. But due to the coronavirus, one travel agency we talked with tells us they have had a lot of worried clients.
They are now working hard to put their minds at ease.
“If there’s some wait time between now and some future date in April or May, then it’s wise to just sit tight and lets just see how this plays out in the next few weeks,” said Ambassador Travel President Connie Corbett.
That’s what agents at Ambassador Travel are telling their clients who are calling concerned and wondering if they should cancel trips.
“Maybe the only destination they wanted to go is a place on high alert and so their probably going to postpone that for some period of time and for now we’ll just cancel,” said Corbett.
But the agency says for many travelers, having travel insurance ahead of time can help in these situations.
“Sometimes those policies will give you 100 percent cash refund, sometimes a percentage, maybe 75 percent of your expense will be reimbursed and sometimes it’s even a future travel credit,” Corbett said.
If you do plan to travel, you can register your plans through an online government program called STEP.
“You will get notices along the way if there’s any concerns,” Corbett explained. “Whether it is violence, an earthquake or a virus and then your state department then knows where you are.”
According to the U.S. Department of State, American citizens are urged to not travel to China right now. The travel advisory there is currently a Level Four.
Something else that will be helpful when you are traveling is taking some disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, both of which are TSA approved for carry on, as long as the hand sanitizer is less than 3.4 ounces.