Hope for summer 2021 as bookings soar

by Jessica Pook

Travel companies are reporting up to a 1,000% increase in bookings following the Government’s roadmap to recovery announcement earlier this week.

Co-operative Travel, part of The Midcounties Co-operative, claims to have seen a surge in bookings for summer 2021 on the day following the announcement that international travel could potentially restart from May 17.

The travel company also experienced high traffic to its website on Monday, which was up 130% compared with the previous week.

Over half of the bookings made were for summer 2021 holidays, a significant shift from the week before, when the majority (75%) were for holidays in 2022.

Greece is leading the way, accounting for 22% of summer 2021 bookings, followed by the Balearics and Canary Islands, demonstrating a clear demand for holidays to islands, compared with mainland destiantions.

The Canary Islands has also featured heavily in the top 10 searched for destinations on Co-operative Travel’s website, with Tenerife topping the list, Fuerteventura seventh and Lanzarote ninth. Corfu and Turkey also featured, alongside long-haul perennials Florida, Mexico and New York.

According to website traffic, the most searched for departure month for holidays was September 2021, followed closely by August 2021.

Natalie Turner, Head of Retail for Co-operative Travel, said: “Since the current lockdown began, bookings have been geared very much towards 2022 and even as far ahead as 2023, but Monday’s announcement has sparked a rush of bookings and enquiries for this summer and autumn."

Easyjet reported a 337% increase in flight bookings for this summer and easyJet holidays bookings rose 630% since Monday's address.

Similarly, data from Jet2.com and Jet2holidays shows that bookings for summer 2021 increased more than 1,000% in the 24 hours following the announcement, with bookings to surging for destinations including Mainland Spain, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

The growing trend for villa holidays seems set to continue into the summer, with CV Villas reporting a 272% increase in the number of phone enquiries for this summer. Managing Director, Tristan Symondson, said: "The picture looks much brighter and it looks as though the summer holiday season we are all so desperately hoping for should become a reality."

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA said that the Government's latest anouncement "sets an ambition to get people travelling before the summer – which will not only be crucial for travel businesses whose revenues have been wiped out, but also for the millions of people who are desperate to travel again."


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