By Jeff Bollig:
Call it a little research mixed in with some R&R.
Acendas Travel President Brent Blake has been travelling periodically since the onset of the pandemic to get a better perspective of the issues people will face when on the road. He took a business trip to Minneaoplis in June, a quick vacation to Las Vegas in August and two weeks ago, he visited Charleston, S.C.
“I have been most impressed with how the industry has reacted to addressing traveler health and safety,” Blake says. “With each trip I sensed the airlines, ground transportation and hotel became more efficient and comprehensive in their processes. They took this seriously from the start and they have it down. That was reassuring.”
Blake was also buoyed by the recent research which indicated catching the coronavirus on an airplane was virtually non-existent. The International Air Transport Association study indicated that since the pandemic shutdown began in March, through early October only 44 cases were reported among the 1.2 billion travelers or 1 case for every 27 million travelers. He says it is a result of new air filtration processes, sanitization of the planes, and social distancing and mask wearing of travelers. Read more about the survey here.
Blake’s four-day, three-night trip to Charleston was just what the Dr. ordered as he enjoyed the history, food and culture of this civil war town. He was impressed by the number of people wearing masks, the social distancing and respect people had for each other. His experiences included a carriage ride, a walking culinary tour of the downtown and a ghost tour.
“The Marriott we stayed at did a good job with plexiglass partitions, the distancing in the restaurant/bar, and little things like plastic covering on television remotes. They also keep staff out of your rooms, cleaning after checkout. At the market, there were guides to stay distanced. The bottom line is the experience was different than normal, obviously, but we had a good time.”
Located on the Atlantic Ocean Coat, Charleston is a year-round destination adjacent to resort areas of Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Sullivan’s Island and others. Founded in 1670, the area bills itself as the place where “History Loves Company.” The modern amenities are woven in with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum houses. History can be found throughout the region, including Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were exchanged.
There is not a shortage of activities either. They range from a peaceful walk on the beach, to a picturesque round of golf, to fun on the water — and more. Blake says it is a place that has something for everyone – singles, couples, families, groups and multigenerational families.
“It’s a great place to visit because you get the new with the old, things to do that cover the full spectrum from leisurely to adventurous, and great weather and scenic views. I’ve been here before and truly enjoyed my return. If you’ve never been to Charleston, then it is a place you need to visit. “