The planning that families did to travel in holidays changed in recent years, where not only the anticipation in the purchase of tickets became more important, but also some prices of airfare “they no longer exist”, according to references in the tourism sector.
One of the most repeated pieces of advice in recent times by the president of the Uruguayan Association of Travel Agencies (Audavi) and general manager of Aeromundo, Charles PeraIt has been that “do not wait until the last minute to get the ticket” when you want to travel, since prices have increased significantly compared to last year and, even more, compared to those times before the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
“Eight months ago, that is, last year, I said ‘the time to invest in tourism is now,’” said Pera.
In this sense, for those who are already thinking about the summer vacation 2023He said that “there is not yet a great product offer”, since we have to wait to see “how connectivity is going to be. We have to wait a bit to see if the airlines that are currently flying are going to increase the frequency, because if the frequency increases, the number of seats will increase, so the offer will increase. If supply increases, duty they can go down a little bit,” he said.
However, he stressed that you can already see the offer of cruise shipswhich can be purchased “with frozen rates” and there are rates from US$700 or US$800 for eight nights.
A package to the Caribbean does not fall below US$1,800 or US$2,100
Meanwhile, when it comes to other types of offers, for example, where the air ticket was sold, “seven nights in a hotel in the Caribbean with an all-inclusive regimen, plus transfers, at rates that ranged from US$899, maximum US$1,100, today these offers no longer exist. A trip to the Caribbean, with these characteristics, is between US$1,800 and US$2,100”.
At the same time, he highlighted current rates for the month of July, outside the holidays, such as a round trip ticket between Montevideo Y Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), is worth US$870, while during the holiday season it could cost US$1,500.
In the same way, Pera indicated that the traditional rate that was sold by Montevideo-Madrid It was between $900 and $1,000. “The airlines said ‘last days to get your ticket to Madrid at US$799’, that doesn’t exist anymore. Tickets today average between US$1,700 and US$1,800.”
Meanwhile, another of the destinations that attracted the most was the Caribbeanon which he highlighted that only in air tickets one can find, depending on the time in advance in which he buys them, with prices between US$ 1,000 and US$ 1,200, to which must be added on average, about US$ 100 per person and per day of hotel with all inclusive, plus transfers.
On this, he rounded off that a package now for this destination does not fall below US$1,800 or US$2,100.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Knock Knock TravelAndrés Gil pointed out that “the comparison with 2021 is a bit unfair, because in 2021 the industry was beginning to reactivate, there were still fears” and for its reactivation the airlines had to be “aggressive in their prices, to encourage people to travel ”.
Air tickets between 20% and 40% above 2021 and between 50% and 70% above the pre-pandemic period.
“Today, with barely 60% of seats available, it is natural that a reactivated demand – even overheated by two years of waiting – will cause prices to rise,” he said, adding that “it must also be taken into account that in Uruguay it is about a totally dollarized industry, the tickets are sold in dollars, so part of the increase in the price of the tickets has been neutralized by the fall of the dollar”.
However, despite the dynamism of the prices of airfarethe variations managed by Pera and by the vice president of Audavi and director of Hiperviajes, Fernando Riva, on the prices of 2022, compared to those of 2021, were between 20% and 40% higher, while compared to the pre-pandemic period , are between 50% and 70% above.
destinations and hotels
The most expensive places
Within the destinations that became more expensive, both Riva and Gil pointed to Europe. The first argued that in season it can “be 100% more expensive” than in the pre-pandemic. “If we look at it relative to 2021, it will be 20% or 30% more expensive,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gil also highlighted Brazil as a destination that became more expensive, “where the offer continues to be deficient, versus pre-pandemic levels and versus the demand that is manifested”, and “somewhat less in destinations of USA and the Caribbean”.
On the other hand, regarding the hospitality pointed out that it also had increases in its prices, in which the war in ukraine and its impacts on the energy market have increased costs.
In this sense, Pera said that the increase has been in the order of 30% in lodging prices.
Meanwhile, Riva pointed out that “the biggest impact” they have felt has been, particularly in the United States, Miami, destinations that “have risen more than 100%.”
“The all-inclusive (hotels) have not doubled”, although “they have increased a little. The impact in general has been in Europe, but above all in the United States,” she added.
Along these lines, Gil also pointed out that in the case of all-inclusives, prices “have remained fairly stable.”
On the other hand, when looking at the most “convenient” destinations, everyone mentioned Argentina and highlighted the exchange rate as the great determinant.
“If I compare a program to Calafate Y ushuaia with lodging and excursions for US$800 a week, including the airfare, this tells us that the Argentine product is monopolizing a large part of the market today,” Pera affirmed.
For his part, Gil added that Europe, “beyond the fact that the tickets are more expensive”, is also “very convenient” due to the parity between the dollar and the euro.
The expectations of the tourism sector:
They hope to be able to resume 100% of the staff
Within the expectations of the tourism sector, Pera pointed out that they hope to be able to absorb summer seasonperhaps even before the end of September, to the workers who were sent to the unemployment insurance due to the drop in mobility due to the pandemic.
“The owners of the travel agency We have a serious problem with the issue of personnel. The travel agent is a highly trained staff, highly ”, she remarked. According to Pera, the travel agent is a person who has to have multiple knowledge, both in terms of airfares, knowledge of reservation systems and flight queries.
“You have to know what time it leaves” a certain airline, “what time it flies” to whatever destination, what are the flights of the day and at what times, said Pera.
In addition to knowledge in the air sector, he maintained that “they have to know how to handle” reservation systems for trains, ships, hotels, transfers, services and circuits.
“Creating a travel agent for an entrepreneur takes no less than two to three years. This is where we are most in a hurry to reinstate our officials because we do not want the loss of that great intangible value that is our people, ”he said.
“The greatest value of a travel agency is not its premises or its computers, but rather its people”, concluded the president of the I have heard.