Are holiday bookings strong?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Earlier today, I referred to a survey conducted by Euronews in conjunction with Redfield & Wilton Strategies that looked at people’s thoughts in four countries on vaccination take-up.

are there lots of holiday bookings or is there hype to encourage us to book? © Dan Sperrin

In the same survey responders were asked about their holiday intentions.

Over the last few weeks we have heard from tour operators saying that bookings had doubled, quadrupled and that bookings had been coming in every couple of minutes. One airline said hat bookings to Turkey had gone up by 1000% after Turkey announced we could travel there with neither vaccinations nor PCR testing. But if you had just 10 bookings to a destination and they jumped by a thousand per cent it is still only a hundred bookings!

Without knowing the base from which the percentage is calculated even a 1% increase can sound great. Sounding positive drives more bookings as people think that they had better book quickly before the best accommodation, flight dates and times are taken.

All these recent announcements  suggest overseas travel from the UK was bouncing along but is it?

This survey doesn’t give such a rosy view.

Considering just those responders from Great Britain, (Northern Ireland wasn’t included) 46% said that they didn’t intend to travel anywhere on holiday this year. That is the same figure from German responders and slightly higher than those responders from France and Italy.

Only 20% plan on travelling abroad, 25% plan on a staycation but 9% plan to travel both at home and abroad.

Even saying that 29% of us will travel abroad isn’t great news for those specialising in overseas holidays because the figure will be still well below 2019 figures.

On the other hand staycation figures look promising and, after Scotland announced that people would be able to travel again in the country from late April, it does look as though there is another bumper year for staycations.

If the survey proves to be correct then the ebullient percentages coming from tour operators and airlines are nothing more than hype and probably based on a low number of bookings.

We’ll only know how strong the holiday market is when it is over and we can see real figures.

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