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Holiday bookings surge after UK announces plans to ease closures

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Bookings have skyrocketed for travel agencies from hotels to airlines after the UK government announced plans to ease closures despite uncertainties about the resumption of overseas travel.

Europe’s largest travel agency Tui said vacation bookings in Greece, Spain and Turkey have increased 500% per week since July, and online travel agency Thomas Cook said website traffic has increased by 60% next. . The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday afternoon, setting a return route for tourism.

Monday’s Flight Aggregator Bookings made on Skyscanner are up 69% compared to the previous day, while easyJet says bookings for flights departing from the UK have more than quadrupled a week.

Private jet charter company PrivateFly reported Monday bookings increased 150% compared to the same day last week, while luxury vacation rentals Habitat Escapes said sales rose 343% per week and 9,559% year over year.

The staggering numbers are a sign of suppressed demand for travel after months of closure, but you can also see how low sales have been this year.

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The confirmation that non-essential overseas travel could be resumed from May 17, according to a government review, provided hope after a miserable year for the travel sector, which has experienced record cancellation rates and low reservations since the closure. Ban on borders and extensive travel.

“We have seen tremendous suppressed demand from British vacationers for a while. People simply enjoy their vacation away from the sun. The government’s announcement is the news they’ve been eager for,” said Steve Heapy, chief executive of airline and package vacation operator Jet2, who reported a 1,000% increase in weekly bookings over the 24 hours after the announcement.

Several aviation executives said they expect the border to be gradually opened and will push for a return to the travel corridor that allowed international travel last summer.

Dale Keller, Chief Executive Officer of the British Airways Representatives Council, said, “I don’t think any of us will travel until May 17th and will be open globally.

Boris Johnson told Sky News that some countries would require vaccine passports, but the ministers said they would not proceed unilaterally with a UK-only certificate.

On Tuesday, an official said, “an international agreement on how to increase foreign travel will be needed.”

“This is how we do that through the G7 and other multinational discussions. When it comes to quarantine, each country decides its own system, but we want to cooperate to get some sort of international framework.”

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Shares in the UK-listed travel group rally on Tuesday.

EasyJet rose more than 4%, while British Airways’ owner IAG rose 2% and Tui 2.5%.

However, Martin Hallmark, senior vice president of credit rating agency Moody’s, urged caution against the recovery of travel. “Concerns about the new Covid-19 strain could still derail, and even if domestic lockdown restrictions ease, we could restrict travel abroad,” he said.

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