Andreas scheuerer astrid dresel has it quiet in her office on hochstadter graben. For almost 30 years there is the travel agency in the city center of hochstadt. Pictures of the sudsee hang on the walls, soft sandy beaches that slide flat into turquoise water and are supposed to convey a paradisiacal calm to vacationers; a cruise ship stands as a lamp on the table, a fountain splashes quietly in front of the office. "Clientele, says dresel "there have hardly been any here lately."
Due to the corona pandemic, the entire travel industry is still experiencing barely noticeable tourist flows. Planes are grounded, cruise ships are anchored, and closed borders have temporarily brought tourism to a complete standstill. One of the worst hit by the lack of tourists has been the travel agencies. Although dresel has been busy every day for the past few weeks – first because of the return campaign, then because customers wanted to cancel their trips – she has been able to do so. But she hardly earned anything during this time. "We are paying money to sit here and work", says the travel agent.
The reason for this is the system of payment for travel agents. Because a travel agency only gets a commission when the trip has taken place. If the trip doesn’t take place, the offices have to work twice as hard without payment. After all, both the booking and the cancellation require many hours of work, explains dresel.