Travel agencies see surge in bookings after holiday announcement – but others criticize list ‘disappointing’ Bedford News

Travel agencies have seen an increase in holiday bookings following the announcement of the government's 'green list' (Photo: Shutterstock)
Travel agencies have seen an increase in holiday bookings following the announcement of the government’s ‘green list’ (Photo: Shutterstock)

Travel agencies have seen an increase in vacation bookings following the announcement of the government’s “green list”.

The Department for Transport has announced that travelers will be able to visit many destinations from May 17 without having to isolate themselves on their return to England.

“We had the best sales day”

Some UK travel agencies have now seen an increase in the number of customers booking vacations, after the government’s announcement.

The green list means arrivals will have to take a pre-departure test and another PCR test on or before the second day of their return to England, but no quarantine or further testing will be required unless a positive result is found. come back.

Twelve countries have been added to the green list – including Portugal, Iceland and Gibraltar – but it should be noted that some countries on the list will continue to have restrictions in place for those coming from the UK – including quarantine measures.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said passengers are encouraged to check all overseas, Commonwealth and Development travel requirements and advice before booking overseas vacations.

However, travel agency Tui said it saw an increase in customer demand after the announcement, especially for trips to Portugal.

A spokesperson said: “We have had the best day of sales for the 2021 summer break since the roadmap was first announced in February.

“Sixty percent of all public holidays sold yesterday were in Portugal.”

Holidays in Portugal have also been a “number one seller” for travel company Thomas Cook since the announcement.

A spokesperson said: “Yesterday more people bought vacations in Portugal than all the rest of the year, but demand remains below ‘normal’ levels and therefore hotels will have a lot of availability, which is why will give them a choice.

“Customers are choosing to stay longer than a week, and half of yesterday’s bookings in Portugal were made at five-star hotels, which shows people are splashing out.”

“ I think the very disappointing news is just the number of countries that make the list ”

Although some companies have seen an increase in bookings after the government’s announcement, some small travel agencies, as well as major travel agency bosses, have spoken out about the limited number of destinations currently on the green list.

Mark Pollard, managing director of Tony Sheldon Travel in Maidenhead, told the PA news agency: “One of the problems with this list is that it is very limiting, the only major tourist destination is Portugal, it is too little and too early to tell.

“This is a wet spit ad, there isn’t enough of it to generate the kind of interest the industry is desperate for.

“I think it’s more of a tick ad just to give us a few destinations and keep us all happy.”

Mr Pollard added: “I really don’t think it will make a huge difference until the top European holiday destinations are added to the list – but again, it’s too early to tell at this time. “

EasyJet Holidays CEO Garry Wilson said while it was good news that travel is starting to reopen again, the number of countries on the green list is “disappointing.”

Mr Wilson told BBC Breakfast: “The good news is travel is reopening and our customers can look forward to those well-deserved breaks this summer that they’ve been waiting for months.

“I think the very disappointing news is just the number of countries that are on the list, and if you look at European countries, there are very few, and among those European countries the main vacation destination is Portugal.

“So we thought it was very conservative and it really doesn’t match the government’s approach to opening up domestic travel and we don’t think it’s backed up by science or data.”

He added: “We believe, looking at the science and the data, that places like the Greek Islands, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, which are very popular holiday destinations, in fact meet these criteria and should be on this list. listing.”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-08 12:42:51