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”.

HEALTH Coronavirus Regions

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.

HEALTH Coronavirus

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?

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Judy W
23rd Jan 2021
Thanks for voting!
I do understand why so many people need to have something to look forward to but now does not, to me at least, seem to be the best time to be actively promoting the booking of holidays abroad (or, indeed, anywhere). In fact, I personally think it is downright irresponsible to be advertising holiday bookings on TV when so many holidays during the first lockdown were ruined and there is still so much uncertainty about everything! Right now, a holiday is the last thing on my mind...I just want to try to ensure the safety of my family and friends!
16th Jan 2021
Thanks for voting!
I do not think there are many countries where traveller will be welcomed from UK even if they do need the money. Vaccinated people can still spread the virus. Would someone who has booked please help me understand why it is important to book a holiday when everythihg is so uncertain. I really dont understnd so any pointers gratefully received
19th Jan 2021
Thanks for voting!
Please se my previous comments about SAD which is very prevalent in this country. Vitamin D is being prescribed also.

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