He has helped fellow immigrants see the world. Now his business is going down.


“We don’t know how long this is going to be sustainable,” Mr. Anokye said. “I’m always positive about things. I don’t mean we need to close, but maybe we will have to abandon some employees.

Other agents, like the owner and sole employee of Sabye Travel, have taken drastic measures to cut expenses. The agency, founded in New Jersey and now managed by the owner’s home in Virginia, specializes in travelers to and from Thailand, many of whom live in the New York area.

“We no longer eat in restaurants, no more discretionary spending, no buying anything that is not totally essential,” said the owner, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Apiwat, as he feared his other job is not put at risk if his employer finds out about his travel activities.

He said the pandemic has wiped out its busy season, which can generate more than $ 150,000 in income and typically begins in April with Songkran, the Thai New Year’s celebration, and continues through September. He said he reimbursed customers who booked trips months in advance and canceled travel marketing plans in Thailand.

Yet after months of gloom, some officers are seeing signs that people are starting to travel.

“It will just take a little while to reopen and get to where it was,” said Sunita Seegobin, who is from Guyana and who opened Sunita Travel Agency with her husband, Naresh, in Queens in 2007.

Some agents have said their services could be even more valuable amid changing travel restrictions, quarantine rules and other concerns.

Mr. Anokye compared seeing a travel agent to visiting a dentist.

“Are you going on the internet looking for how to get a tooth out?” ” he said.


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