Polka Dot Travel director Mark Johnson admitted that the summer of 2021 had been âhit and missâ despite âbetter levelsâ of bookings in August. âThe last quarter of 2021 promises to be relatively strong. It is mainly towards the Canaries – Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. I would like to see a few overdue cases on top of that.
âThe order book is phenomenal for next summer. But the next few months are going to be tough for the industry – you start getting the sales in February and March, so you have to hold out until then. “
Off Broadway Travel said it has also seen “final pick-up” of late bookings in August, particularly to Spain, Greece, Barbados, Antigua and Madeira.
Jeanne Lally, co-managing director of Travel Bureau Gosforth, said they plan to restart marketing in September. âWe don’t know if there will be a bumper in September or in winter; people are waiting to see, âshe said.
âEmirates came back to Newcastle earlier than expected and that has fueled demand, as has Dubai turning orange. We are moving forward little by little, not bouncing.
Respond to a snap TTG survey, agents highlighted the cost and practicalities of testing as the main issues hindering customers’ willingness to travel.
âTesting remains a problem, especially the one needed to return to the UK,â said one respondent. âThe lack of consistent advice also affects customer confidence. Many customers have resigned themselves not to travel abroad this year.
Johnson agreed that the current testing requirements were a “huge stumbling block” for customers. âIf they relax the testing regime, that would really help,â he said.
Dixon pointed to the “outrageous” cost of PCR testing in the UK as a barrier to travel and called on the government to “create more certainty” with its policies. âThe main thing that disrupts the market is when destinations go from orange to red – that’s where we’ve seen the big drops,â he added.
Several agents said they had “reasonable” reservations for the October semester, a market that could be boosted by the UK government’s decision to start immunizing children aged 12 to 15 from early September.
Airlines, meanwhile, are slowly rebuilding their schedules. OAG data shows 2.05 million seats in the UK for the week of September 13, up about 320,000 seats for the week of August 16.
Uncertainty remains over some long-haul destinations, with the United States showing no signs of lifting its ban on UK visitors, leading Aer Lingus to postpone the launch of its new Manchester-US services for the second time. , this time until December 2021.
There was, however, more positive news regarding Australia’s potential reopening by early 2022, with Qantas hoping to restart UK flights in December – provided Australia meets its goal of reaching 80% vaccination. against Covid-19 by then.