Airlines have said that they have already seen a surge in holiday bookings following the PM’s announcement of the road map out of the nationwide lockdown
On Holiday bookings, the Prime Minister has said that a global travel taskforce would put forward a report on how to return to international travel on the 12th of April.
The UK government would then make a decision on removing some of the current restrictions on international travel to and from the country. However this would not happen until the 17th of May at the earliest.
The UK’s biggest international holiday operator, Tui, has said that bookings had surged overnight by 500%.
Spain, Greece and Turkey had been the most-booked destinations during this period, it said, for breaks starting from July onwards.
This comes after the announcement on the fate of UK retail businesses was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, as he outlined his roadmap for England’s way out of lockdown.
As the government has said that dates could move for the start of international travel easing, Tui has said that anyone who is due to travel between the 17th of May and the end of June can change their holiday booking to a later date without being charged.
Thomas Cook has said that the traffic to its website had increased to over 100% from 15:00 GMT on Monday onwards, with bookings already “flooding in” for countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
“The government’s announcement today is good news for those of us desperate to get away on holiday,” said Thomas Cook’s chief executive Alan French.
“While we await more details, it’s clear that the government’s ambition is to open up international travel in the coming months and hopefully in time for the summer holidays.”
The chief executive of EasyJet Johan Lundgren has said that Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement had “provided a much-needed boost in confidence” for its customers in the UK.
“We have consistently seen that there is pent up demand for travel and this surge in bookings shows that this signal from the government that it plans to reopen travel has been what UK consumers have been waiting for,” he said.
This comes after all schools within England will be reopening to all pupils on the 8th of March under the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of the nationwide lockdown to be announced today, with outdoor after-school sports and activities also being allowed to restart.
Amanda Matthews, the managing director, as well as the owner of the Ramsbottom-based luxury travel agency network Designer Travel, says that her firm has seen double the number of enquiries and new bookings for the summer.
“But we’ve also had hundreds of calls from people who’ve got bookings for travel in March, April, May and June – still very uncertain about whether they will be travelling or not,” she told the BBC.
“Because there’s no concrete date yet for the reopening of international travel, as a travel agent, we can’t answer our existing clients’ questions about holidays they’ve already booked for spring and summer. We’ve got no idea. “
While the roadmap has provided hope for summer holidays, retail expert Kate Hardcastle says there is also “huge disappointment” in the travel industry – particularly domestic overnight accommodation providers like mobile home holiday parks and holiday cottage providers.