A busy or quiet summer?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Information released last week might make some readers wonder what is going on.

the company thinks bookings will remain weak for a while

One of the few stock market listed tour operators, On the Beach in a statement to the stock exchange said that it had seen bookings in its first quarter decline by 83% compared to last year. It also said that its UK website traffic for the quarter up to the end of January was down 73%.

Lest this concern you, at this time last year, people were expecting a full summer of bookings so we aren’t comparing like with like. The industry and holidaymakers were brimming with confidence and looking forward to their holidays. This year it is different.

The crucial announcement might be that On the Beach considers that bookings will remain “weak” until the second half of the year.  That sounds as though the company thinks that many, if not most people, will hold off booking their holidays until as late as possible – or even skip booking an overseas holiday at all.

Is it any surprise that its customers are nervous given that On the Beach was not speedy in returning customer monies from 2020 bookings. When reminded of its responsibilities by ABTA it resigned from the organisation.

Are people booking with other suppliers instead of On the Beach, which is just an online travel agent as opposed to on on the high street as well or not booking at all?

Anecdotal evidence seems to be that there was a booking flurry but it has tailed. Is it because people are waiting to see how the vaccination programme progresses? Is it because people are waiting until the last minute to book? Or are people preferring staycations this year. 

Certainly bookings at popular destinations like Devon, Cornwall, the Lake District and Norfolk have been high. And since the first minster of Wales said on Friday that some tourism business might be allowed to open for Easter, Pembrokeshire,North wales and the Gower have all seen an increase in enquiries as well.

Does this help readers to decide whether there will be a summer holiday season?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,