Don’t book

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Don’t book a holiday for something which at this stage is illegal.

Clifton Beach, Cape Town. Will South Africa be a holiday destination this year?

This is what our erstwhile transport minister, Grant Shapps, told Radio 4 listeners yesterday morning.

Booking a holiday should be no problem for readers provided that you get assurances from our tour operator, travel agent, airline or hotel that they will alter the holiday dates  – at no cost to you -if government policy either where you live or at your proposed destination is not allowed.

He suggests we should all wait until things become more obvious.

Whilst there is some sense in that, any organisation connected with travel would want you to book as soon as possible. It helps them stay afloat financially, gives the destination suppliers a foretaste of income in the near future and allows holidaymakers and travellers to be optimistic about the future.

Instead Shapps has a travel industry that is spitting mad.

They are banking on a summer holiday season to save jobs and save their companies.

Travel companies on the London Stock Exchange like On the Beach, TUI, IAG,  (the owners of British Airways, British Airways Holidays and Aer Lingus) easyJet, Jet2 and Saga all lost value. Ryanair also lost some value.

Then, yesterday evening at the coronavirus press conference, Boris Johnson refused twice to arbitrate in the Zahwani/Shapps comments about vaccine passports and then, on a different matter, whether we should be booking summer holidays yet. All he would say is that the government is talking to a number of countries about travel bubbles, apps and other ways of resurrecting travel.

He also echoed Shapps about whether to book holidays and didn’t answer the question about whether he had booked a summer holiday yet or even whether he was planning to do so.

What Johnson did confirm was that at the heralded briefing on the 22nd of February more would be announced about holidays and travel.

In essence we had warnings and conflicting thoughts yesterday but no answers. For that we have to wait impatiently for another eleven days.

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