NEOSHO, Mo. — Many industries have still not returned to business as usual because of changes brought on by COVID. But one of them is getting closer.

“At one time, how bad did it get?” asked KSN’s Stuart Price, Reporting.

“In a word, horrific,” said Ken Mayer, Owner, GalaxSea Cruises & Tours.

At the height of the pandemic, Mayer had to furlough almost all of his 10 employees and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to stay in business. But what a difference a couple of years make.

“And more people are able to go places, and more places are open, and cruises have resumed,” said Mayer.

Although the travel industry has improved a great deal, he says it’s not yet back to pre-pandemic status. With the main problem being, as you might guess, a shortage of workers in all aspects of the travel industry.

“Instead of sightseeing companies running 10 trips a day, they just run 5, and instead of airlines having 15 flights a day, they just run 6,” he said.

Even with those limitations, he’s been able to bring back most of the people he had let go. And in some facets of travel and tourism, business has never been better.

“National Parks off the charts, uh the vacation rentals, uh vacation homes, especially along the Florida beaches off the chart.”

If you’re worried about COVID-related restrictions or mandates on vaccinations, as your reason for not traveling abroad and especially within the US…

“Most of those things are greatly reduced from where they were, and it’s continuing to get less and less restrictive. We’re heading in the right direction, is it fully open, no but it’s heading in the right direction,” added Mayer.