A booking every second

By | Category: Travel news

That was the comment by the CEO of one travel company after the announcement of the four part roadmap out of lockdown.

Alicante – traditional hoilday destinations seem to be where people want to book

The sixty page document outlining the way forward stimulated holiday bookings from about 4pm on Monday and into Tuesday morning. What the travel industry wants to know is whether the bookings will continue or whether those that are booking now are the majority of those that will book at all.

But the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh governments haven’t suggested dates for overseas or even staycations for their residents

Since 15.30 on Monday 22nd February when Boris Johnson got up to speak, bookings have surged for destinations across the board.

What is unavailable is whether these are bookings just from English residents or have people across the UK booked as well.

Take Jet2 and Jet2 holidays for example. It says that bookings have increased more than 1,000% in just 24 hours following the announcement. It is likely that this increase is from a low base because only the courageous were booking olidays before the utterances by the prime minister.

Nonetheless it shows a very sharp revival in confidence by holidaymakers

The company says that Spain and its islands – the Canaries and the Balearics, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey are the chief areas for bookings.

Interestingly bookings are greatest from July and on into September and October. What are May and June bookings like?  It looks like, although we may be able to travel from May 17th onwards, many of us are holding off either through caution and because the date might shift or because we are nervous to travel that early.  

The other big tour operator, TUI, says that it has had a good couple of days bookings but they are only the best for a month. It said that Greece, Spain and Turkey were the most popular booked destinations.  The boss of easyJet said that Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro and Crete were the top destinations from its bookers after holiday bookings grew by over 600%.

Interviewed on BBC Breakfast this morning, Dame Irene Hays, the boss of the travel agency chain that bears her and her late husband’s name said this morning that the largest travel agency in the UK had seen an extra 347% increase in enquiries. It had to bring in an extra 200 people to handle all the calls.

She said that the average holiday prices had gone up by £214 and that just yesterday she had seen the beginning of price increases.

Incidentally, she said that she had booked three holidays, two for this year and an Amazon holiday in 2022 something that she and her husband had planned to do.  

But it isn’t just overseas holidays that have seen a booking increase.

The holding company for three staycation suppliers, Cottages.com, Hoseasons and Landall GreenParks said that it had booked a holiday every second after the announcement and had sold more than 10,000 UK breaks.

Leger whcih owns Shearings said that had been deluged with calls and had to put people on hold.

As I mentioned earlier, the key question is whether readers and the holidaymaker as a whole will continue this booking trend.  

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