As a travel agent, the global pandemic has been challenging but for Gloucester business owner, Sharee Abeysekera it's all about continuing to provide customer service.
Business at Helloworld Travel Gloucester completely changed when the COVID-19 crisis hit. Instead of selling holidays, it became all about managing travel plans.
The office remained opened with a few alterations to ensure customer and staff safety. Sharee decided to operate with two staff on the premises and one working from home. They only have one customer in office at a time and most of their work is done over the phone.
"I thought it was important to stay open to be there for our clients, to help them unravel their holidays," Sharee explained.
In the beginning, there was a bit of work to be done to get all of their overseas customers back to Australia.
"We got everyone home early on," she said.
Then it was all about cancellations and rebookings. Sharee and her staff worked to help their customers get the best outcome, whether it be a credit or a refund.
"There has been no income and we've been going backwards but it's important that we are here for our clients," Sharee said.
And they've had their work cut out for them with airlines offering some of the cheapest flight prices and more people than ever booking to take their dream holiday pre-COVID..
Now that restrictions are easing and some state borders are reopening, people are beginning to look for a domestic holiday.
According to Sharee, tourism providers are offering some pretty good deals for people looking to 'holiday here this year'.
"People are realising the importance of booking local and that when you book online your money goes directly overseas," she said. "It's in times like these people need support us as we are here for them."