Grey pound holiday bookings surge as vaccines rolled out
The launch of Covid-19 jabs has led some people who will be prioritised for the vaccine to book long-awaited trips.
Holiday firms have attributed a spike in bookings from older people to the development of coronavirus vaccinations.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the UK’s travel industry, with demand plummeting and thousands of jobs being lost.
Leisure travel is currently banned due to lockdown rules.
But the launch of Covid-19 jabs has led some people who will be prioritised for the vaccine to book long-awaited trips.
Tui, the UK’s largest tour operator, said half of bookings so far this year have been made by people aged over 50.
Managing director Andrew Flintham said demand from this age group “wasn’t coming through” previously.
He believes the change is “on the back of the positive vaccine news”.
He continued: “Customers long for a sunshine break later in summer, particularly in Greece, Turkey or the Balearics.
“And many Brits want to get away for longer this year, opting for 14, 10, or 11 nights instead of seven to make up for not having a holiday in 2020.”
National Express said its coach holiday business – which predominantly caters for pensioners – has seen bookings nearly triple for spring and summer trips compared with the same point last year.
It believes many customers are choosing UK breaks because of uncertainty around international travel and quarantine rules.
The most popular domestic destinations for 2021 are the Cotswolds, the Isle of Wight, York and the Lake District.
National Express head of holidays and travel Jit Desai said: “Ninety-eight per cent of our customer base is over 65 and we’ve seen an increased appetite for travel in the last week or two with an uplift in inquiries and bookings every time there’s been an announcement about new vaccine approvals and the rollout programme.
“Some of this is postponed travel carried over from last year.
“But there’s definitely a trend of customers being comfortable that they will have had their vaccination and be protected from spring onwards, so can start to make travel plans.
“Some are telling us that they’ve already had their jab and can’t wait to go on holiday once guidance allows again.”
Have you booked an overseas holiday yet?
The Press Association
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