WASHINGTON — The travel and tourism industries have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
A lot of people are bailing on trips after the U.S. State Department advised against cruise travel, and as big tourism events are canceled across the country.
Travel agents in the D.C.-area said if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse, it could really upset their businesses.
“It’s a beautiful world. We need to see it more,” Vanessa Bowling Ajavon said.
Bowling Ajavon loves to travel and is one of the faces behind Girls Vacation Club, a women's travel agency that encourages girls' trips.
When the coronavirus began spreading in January sparking travel restrictions, quarantines, and fears -- Bowling Ajavon had her own concerns.
"My first reaction was that I hope that everyone is OK, and I hope that it does not last very long," she said.
The business owner and mom of two knew of the potential impacts on the travel industry and her business.
"Personally, I've had a number of clients call me and see what their options are," Bowling Ajavon explained. "Some people who have compromised immune systems are worried about if their cruise is a good idea."
Bowling Ajavon said airlines, hotels, and cruises are offering several options for travelers that include free rebooking and additional credits on cruises.
While many Americans have begun to cancel trips, none of Bowling Ajavon’s clients have pulled the plugs on their trips.
She said many older clients are not booking new trips, but young people are cashing in on low fares and deals from the coronavirus crisis.
"They want these $50 round-trip flights, and they'll risk it," Bowling Ajavon explained.
It is a risk Bowling Ajavon hopes blows over soon before more people get sick and it affects her business.
"I work on commission only. So, if I don't book trips, I don't get commission. So, it would have a financial impact on me as well as other agents," she said.
Bowling Ajavon advises people who still want to book trips to get travel insurance with a "cancel for any reason" policy.