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LOCAL COVID-19 BUSINESS IMPACT: Bad time to be in the travel industry

County travel counselor's income disappears
MVT Lisa Nicholson
Mountain View County resident Lisa Nicholson is a travel counselor. She's having a hard time with her business because she only gets paid if her clients actually travel. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — Lisa Nicholson, a travel consultant in the Olds and Didsbury areas, has been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicolson worked as an independent travel counselor for the past five years and has been a full-time business owner in the industry for the last two-and-a-half years.

“Since March 13, since the travel advisory, it’s been very unusual times in my world,” said the Mountain View County resident during an interview.

“I only get paid if my client actually physically travels, so I saw lots of my hard work disappear and income disappear,” she added.

“Obviously, nobody’s travelling right now, and my business works as I get paid as the client actual travels – a commission, a rate from the suppliers. So if nobody’s travelling, I have no income.

“It’s been quite a considerable income loss for me; lost commissions.”

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Nicolson applied for income support via the Canada Emergency Response benefit but said that money doesn’t cover mortgage payments. As a result, she was forced to defer those payments for six months.  

Fortunately, Nicholson’s husband still has his job as a police officer, so that’s helping the family cope to some degree.

But Nicolson has no idea what the future is like for her business.

“I honestly don’t know when people are going to feel comfortable travelling again and again, when of course the borders --  international borders and domestic borders -- are lifted. Those are out of my control, of course.

“So it’s hard to know when I’ll be able to build back my business and what it may look like; which suppliers will stand the test of time. So very unusual circumstances,” she said.

Doug Collie

About the Author: Doug Collie

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