The COVID-19 Pandemic started with a travel ban, first China and then Europe. Today 50 countries are completely closed, and 92 countries are partially open including the United States.
Restrictions caused a major decline in traveling, which has cost the airline, hotel, and rental car industries trillions of dollars.
Long Beach business owner Sharisse Armstrong is President and CEO of APS Travel. For 20 years APS Travel has been a luxury company that specializes in domestic and international travel and tourism.
APS’s executive statement is, “APS caters to a wide range of clientele including but not limited to corporations, entertainers, and jet setters.”
On April 29, 2020 according to Economic Modeling’s website, “hospitality [was] losing an average of 534 million dollars and over 12,000 jobs every day.” Since then, these numbers have improved; However, on November 18, 2020 The American Hotel and Lodging Association posted, “71% of hotels won’t survive another six months without further government COVID-19 relief”.
With the hospitality industry in dire straits, how is APS Travel surviving this difficult time?
“It has been tough. In the beginning, I was able to get business aid from the Government when practically every country was shut down. Now that our country and 91 other countries are partially open my high-profile clients and celebrities have started to travel a little bit… They have been adjusting by flying private rather than first class commercial airlines.”
Flying private is more popular during COVID-19 because passengers can avoid lines and airports that can possibly be super spreaders.
Sharisse also added, “Staycations are on the rise. Not everyone can afford or even want to fly on a private jet, but some still want to get away after being couped up in their house for 9 months. Currently, with hotel prices being so low many people, especially for birthdays or romantic couple getaways, opt for a staycation. That way they can still be quarantined, but in a nice Long Beach hotel room instead of their living room.”
Staycations support the local hospitality industry, which prevents them from going out of business, while simultaneously allowing individuals to relax and quarantine.
During this time, APS had to redo their website to inform clients about travel restrictions. Sharisse added several pages just to educate clients on social responsibility and travel advisories: “Due to the outbreak, we are aware of the restrictions and circumstances impacting the travel industry. As we navigate these challenges, we want to ensure that your safety and wellbeing are our top priority. With a commitment to service, we remain ready and available to assist you and address any concerns you may have.”
Sharisse prays for safety first and hopes her industry bounces back quickly after this Pandemic is over.