UK based price comparison website TravelSupermarket is backing calls for the Government to follow science and loosen restrictions for holidays to low-risk destinations after its own website data for the last week (13 to 20 June) showed that 53 per cent of bookings were for 2022.
Travel expert and spokesperson for the site Emma Coulthurst said that people want to put something in the diary to look forward to, but they are playing it safe and booking holidays abroad for next year. “You’d normally see the majority of searches at this time of year for now until the end of October. But, at the moment, only a quarter of bookings are for this period,” Coulthurst said.
Lack of clarity is causing holidaymakers to play it safe
“The current travel restrictions and lack of clarity means that holidaymakers are looking further ahead to next year rather than this summer. It is so important that the Government stop making political decisions around travel and what they think the public want to hear and actually look at the science and where it is safe to travel to.”
Her words echo the voices of the wider travel and tourism industry which is pressing the government to allow British holidaymakers to travel to those countries with lower coronavirus rates than the UK if they also have a strong vaccination programme.
“We need to see more low risk countries like Malta and the Balearic Islands on the green list, Coulthurst added. “We also need to see quarantine restrictions being dropped for the double-vaccinated on return to the UK from many countries where the risk of catching or transmitting the virus is relatively low.
In the last week, Spain, Greece and the US were the three most popular countries for Brits when comparing prices of package holidays for any future departure date. The most bookings were for New York, Las Vegas, Benidorm, Tenerife and Orlando.
Earlier this week, tourism body the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said the UK could lose GB£19.8 billion during July if it remains off limits.