Quebec Standard

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Canada Travel Restrictions Lighten in Response to Pandemic Data

Canada recently decided to lighten travel restrictions in response to new data that indicates the latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant has passed its peak in Canada. Officials in Canada are eager for the restrictions to be lifted as of February 28, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EST.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, was quoted saying “We are committed to a safe reopening; one that provides predictability, flexibility and shows the world that Canada is one of the safest places to travel. Travel is safe and will continue to be safe in Canada. Thank you to the tourism industry that has been a leader around the world in ensuring the safety of travelers while weathering one of the most challenging economic crises. Let me be clear that the Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers and today’s measures will help us safely welcome visitors to Canada,” (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2022)

This transition is possible because of a number of factors, including Canada’s high vaccination rates, the increasing availability and use of rapid tests to detect infection, decreasing hospitalization rates and growing domestic availability of therapeutics and treatments. “The measures we are announcing are possible in part because Canadians have stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated. These measures will allow vaccinated Canadians to once again reunite with family and friends and reap the economic benefit that travel provides. We will continue to evaluate our measures and will not hesitate to make necessary adjustments to keep Canadians and our transportation system safe,” said The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport. (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2022)

Canada continues to experience a growing return of international travelers arriving as the pandemic winds down. According to official Canada Statistics, the number of non-resident visitors arriving from abroad at Canadian airports equipped with electronic kiosks was more than five times the number recorded in the same month a year earlier. Tourism spending in Canada (+28.3%) also rose in the third quarter following a 3.3% increase in the previous quarter. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) (+31.1%) and employment attributable to tourism (+17.9%) also rose in the third quarter. (Statistics Canada, 2022)

As travel restrictions continue to be lifted and international travelers seek to visit Canada once again, there will also be an increase in demand for visa consulate appointments. With Favisbook travelers don’t need to wait months for an appointment to appear on the Consulate website. Favisbook can confirm a visa appointment during the busy season within 3 days. With travel and tourism making a return, this New-York based company and its founder are making strategic decisions in the travel and tourism sector by providing expedited visa appointments and tourism forecasting services.

Favisbook provides a range of services that simplify and expedite the visa application process for a number of consulates throughout the United States. The company’s primary service is the confirmation of expedited visa appointments. Appointments booked directly through the consulate’s website typically aren’t available for the next three to four months, however, Favisbook guarantees an appointment within two weeks. Convenience is this company’s number one priority. In order to meet all the needs of travelers, Favisbook offers services ranging from application completion, document review, and assistance with the Apostille process. The company has multiple consulates in Italy, Spain and France are all available for expedited appointments on Favisbook’s website. Founded by Kareem Dus in 2017, Favisbook is reliably able to confirm expedited visa appointments at various consulates as soon as they become available.

Favisbook mainly serves students hoping to study abroad, corporate professionals who need visas to work internationally, and US green cardholders. The expedited visa appointment company offers tourism forecasting services to corporate clients as well. Travelers always apply for visas and prepare visa paperwork before they book a flight to Canada or a hotel room. Since Favisbook sells visa-related services, the company can extrapolate useful data from the volume of inquiries and orders, then provide travel trend predictions up to 3 weeks before they are visible in wider tourism markets. This allows corporate clients to make impactful data-driven decisions based on the latest travel industry trends. 

Dus never expected to be a businessman or entrepreneur, but he always knew he was a problem solver. “I see myself as a mathematical and scientific thinker first and foremost — as a problem solver. I always wanted to be a mathematician or physicist, and I went to college for math. But I have always pushed myself to find solutions to problems that interested me. So, when I discovered a glaring inefficiency in the visa appointment system, I immediately began to consider how this inefficiency could be fixed. Eventually, my efforts to do so became Favisbook. So I guess I became a businessman by trying to fix a problem.” 

The problem Dus was trying to solve that led him to create Favisbook was not a personal problem, but one of a friend. “Back in 2017, a friend of mine got a job in Paris, and she couldn’t schedule a visa appointment in time. She actually lost the job. I was surprised that there were no services to solve this problem. The first thing I did when she told me about her experience wasn’t to go to the consulate calendar and try to book an appointment — I tried to find a service that could expedite it, because it seemed so obvious that such a service should exist.” After hours of searching with no results, “I was totally shocked. I started coming up with how I might build such a service, and soon after, I opened Favisbook.”

Serving customers is at the center of Favisbook. Since 2017, Dus has grown Favisbook into the successful customer-centric company is it today through continuous strategic decision making and learning from previous decisions. “Our biggest success as a business was our second year of operation. The summer of 2019, we expanded to many more consulates, and so we served more customers than we ever had before and capitalized on the opportunities provided by tapping into a larger global market. The key to our success that summer was learning from our previous decisions, and working hard to expand our business.” 

As Dus and Favisbook continue to deliver new strategic decisions that put customers first, like their Pay What You Want promotion, there is great potential for expansion as travel demand increases post-pandemic.

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