For guests thinking of heading to Alaska this fall and winter season, Chena Hot Springs Resort is ready to welcome them.

“If you consider Alaska in general,” says Javier Villasenor-Gaona, marketing director for Chena Hot Springs, “we are the state with the lowest population density. It is easy to disconnect out here, put your worries aside, and relax for a while. There is so much space for people to practice social distancing.”

The property, which works with travel advisor partners, has enhanced its sanitation and hygiene measures, and has provided access to sanitizers throughout. “While we do not require it, some of our guests do come visit with their face masks,” notes Villasenor-Gaona. “We do not know if all of this will be the new normal, or how long it will last, but we know we need to make changes and will continue to adapt. Actually, we are really enjoying some of the changes we’ve made, and will keep them in place even after the pandemic is officially declared over.”

As for wellness travel, he believes it’ll be an upward trend post-pandemic. “We think there is going to be a rise in ‘wellness travel,’ or travel intended to help support one’s physical and emotional/mental well-being. People need to get away, wind down after their lengthy quarantine and dealing with all the uncertainty that came with it, and let themselves know and believe that everything is going to be OK,” he says. “There is a huge opportunity to make that happen with wellness travel. There continues to be changes we need to make, but we also want to transmit serenity and control so that our guests can let go of their concerns. If our massage therapist needs to wear a mask while she works with a guest, our guest needs to feel and know that there is still a smile underneath; that we are happy to assist in their moment of peace,” he adds.

And, for advisors starting to book clients for upcoming travel, Villasenor-Gaona says, “Consider your guests’ concerns and look for places that can accommodate a safe environment for them. Check for travel mandates and recommendations for the areas you want to promote, and push for destinations where your audience can enjoy peace and quiet. Because so many destinations have relaxed their booking and cancellation policies, it’s a great time to take advantage of that and reach out to new and exciting locations.” 

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