Barrage of storms drums up business for travel agencies

    Sitting on a tropical island probably sounds like a dream for Delaware Valley residents preparing for Thursday’s Nor’easter, expected to dump 6 inches to a foot of snow on an area already struggling with a bad case of the winter blues.

    More than a few, though, have decided to pack a bag and trade snow for sunscreen, and local travel agencies are reaping the rewards.

    “The weather greatly affects everyone in this area. The moment that there’s a cold snap, and it has been cold, that’s when everybody says they’re tired of shoveling snow, they’re tired of snow days and tired of the traffic and they just want to escape,” said Chris Novelli, manager at “Just to Travel” in King of Prussia.

    Novelli said there’s been a noticeable uptick in sales since the first storm in December. Travelers are also taking longer trips.

    “People who normally would just go away for three or four days are going for six or seven,” she said.

    Ellie Jozefowski’s outfit, “Cover All Travel” in Philadelphia, has also had higher profits this winter. Last-minute bookings have been part of the boost.

    “They usually plan a little farther out, but I think, just because of the weather, they’ve decided that’s it, they’re taking off,” she said.

    So, where are people going? Basically any place warm, with Jamaica and the Dominican Republic among the popular destinations.

    While the uptick is certainly welcome, both Jozefowski and Novelli agreed that it’s also been a real headache at times as their offices contend with wide-ranging flight cancellations in Philadelphia and other hubs along the East Coast.

    Airports in the path of the Nor’easter were cancelling flights Wednesday afternoon in advance of the storm storm.

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