Travel agencies are already working flat out ahead of the July holidays but with the same problem they faced at Easter: an exponential demand for which they have no supply due to poor air connectivity.
The first Holy Week without restrictions and without a context of health emergency was the first breath of fresh air for the travel agency sector, which positively valued the movement although it is still far from pre-pandemic numbers.
Currently, they are facing a new challenge: the first vacation in July without a pandemic and with Uruguayans eager to travel. Google revealed the destinations most investigated by Uruguayans on the platform with a view to the July holidays, one of the harvests to pack the bags and steal a few days in the harshest of winter.
Madrid, Barcelona, Miami and New York are the places most sought after by Uruguayan travelers this year. Those options have shown some variation from searches in the same period last year.
The data shows that Uruguayans have a marked preference for Spain and the United States, a trend that was already present the previous year. Neighboring countries Brazil and Argentina are present on the list, but are below the top 5 in both years.
The list from June to August 2022 is: 1. Madrid (Spain) 2. Barcelona (Spain) 3. miami (United States) 4. New York (United States) 5. cancun (Mexico) 6. Paris (France) 7. Strong Lauderdale (United States) 8. Tip Cane (Dominican Republic) 9. Rome (Italy) 10. River from January (Brazil) 11. Santiago de Chile (Chili) 12. San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) 13. Saint Pablo (Brazil) 14. Good airs (Argentina) 15. London (Great Britain) 16. Bogota (Colombian) 17. The angels (United States) 18. amsterdam (Netherlands) 19. Town from Mexico (Mexico) 20. Lisbon (Portugal).
High demand and low supply: high costs
Juan Barrio, director of Quality Travel, told The Observer that the agencies “are not able to cope” with all the demand they have. The businessman explained that, as in Tourism Week, the offer is limited and not enough to cover the requests of travelers. This is due to the low air connectivity that remains in Uruguay, which also causes flight prices to increase.
“Almost everything is sold out. From now on for Europe, for example, not a single place can be found and the costs are very high because of course, since there is nothing, the places that remain are much more expensive than usual, well above the average inclusive”, counted.
Barrio pointed out that the costs to travel to Europe and the United States in July are “exorbitant” while, within the region, for Brazil it is “everything full.” In turn, he indicated that “the world of offers ended a long time ago” and that prices are at levels “historically well above normal.”
“The world of travel changed completely from this second quarter. Today is a completely different reality. People really want to travel, we have little to sell and prices are very high, it’s a whole chain of events”, he pointed out.
Andrés Gil, CEO of Toc Toc Viajes, told The Observer that travel agencies are working with 60% of the seats on flights that they had before the pandemic and that this is clearly noticeable when demand increases for special dates such as Easter, July holidays and September holidays.
“When there are peaks in demand, the lack of connectivity is more evident, every time there is a peak in demand, the glass overflows much more and these are the moments when there is more concentrated demand,” said Gil. And he pointed out: “What can be sold, what there is. What happens is that as there is more demand than supply, prices begin to rise”.
The most popular destinations
The CEO of Toc Toc Viajes said that the destinations that are being most in demand for vacations in July are the United States and the Caribbean. He, in turn, indicated that the destinations in Argentina, mainly those linked to snow tourism such as San Carlos de Bariloche, Ushuaia and Calafate, are also registering significant demand.
The greatest restrictions, as explained by Gil, are in “classic destinations” such as Brazil and Chile due to the “absence of regular flights.”
Along these lines, he announced that Toc Toc Viajes confirmed for July holidays a series of direct charter flights to El Salvador, in Brazil, “to reinforce with special operations what is the absence of seats on regular line flights” because the connectivity with Brazil “continues to be quite deficient”.
“If today you ask me what is available, what is most available is Brazil because these charter flights have just come out and what we have to sell because we generate them, the industry or the regular flight network does not give it to you,” he said. .
Fernando Riva, general manager of the tourist company HiperViajes and vice president of the Uruguayan Association of Travel Agencies (Audavi), told El Observador that many inquiries are being received and destinations in the Caribbean and Brazil are selling very well. On the other hand, inquiries about Argentina and snow tourism are also growing as the destination “was revitalized as a result of the exchange rate and affordable prices.”
“There is something from the United States and where concrete details are lacking is Europe because the tickets are very expensive. The flights are full and very expensive as a result of the rise in oil, the issue of the war caused prices to increase, so we are focusing on Brazil and the Caribbean,” Riva said.
The executive insisted on the little air connectivity that Uruguay still has and said that the air bridge with Brazil, and particularly with Chile, could be revitalized if some more flights were added.
“The demand is almost on par with the pre-pandemic. There is a significant desire to travel, we must remember that many people also rescheduled the trips that they could not do due to the pandemic and that also takes away space for new travelers, but the demand exists and we find ourselves with the bottleneck that we do not have operations like we had before,” he lamented.