Travel companies and tour operators in the UK have seen an unexpected jump in bookings over the past two weeks, and the vaccination process against Covid-19 has particularly encouraged travellers over the age of 50, the British media reports.
The tourism sector interprets the new data as "trust in vaccines" and it seems that a ray of light has finally come to the travel industry, although the coronavirus pandemic is still putting pressure on the British and the health care system, the BBC notes.
The largest British tour operator TUI states that half of the reservations on their website are made by citizens older than 50 years. Their share used to be much smaller.
The National Express bus company reported that in the last two weeks, the reservations of citizens over the age of 65 have almost tripled.
“After the announcement of the vaccine, we got a customer base, mostly over 65 years old. Confidence in reservations has grown and we are recording a jump for the summer of 2021,” said Jit Desai from the holiday organization department at National Express.
"Last weekend we released a brochure for the spring-summer 2021 and since Monday we have been recording as many bookings as we received in a week until recently, and the trend is not over yet," Desai points out.
The pandemic has proved disastrous for the travel sector, which has closed tens of thousands of jobs in the UK. Millions of Britons have cancelled holidays due to the health situation that has changed all over the world.
Currently, 90 percent of National Express bus reservations are made by British destinations and it looks like this year as well as last year will be marked by staying within borders.
"There are few reservations for Europe due to the uncertainty on the continent," says Desai. Domestic destinations are more attractive because there is no need for quarantine, nor the uncertainty created by possible moves by foreign governments, he explains.
The past two weeks have brought changes in the demand for holidays on the sunny European beaches, claims TUI, known for offering holidays in such destinations.
We are seeing a new customer base, from the age of 50 upwards, thanks to news about vaccines, said Andrew Flintham of TUI. "The market is still depressed and not what we would like it to be, but a glimmer of hope has emerged," he added.
More packages are being booked in July and August, and there is a high demand for September and October, Flintham said.
Holidays are also booked for a longer period of time, more and more often ten, eleven or 14 nights are requested, and not seven as before, as if to make up for lost time, he adds.
“I think the summer vacation is in again,” he concludes. “It only takes a little time for people to be encouraged, but yes, we think summer will be good,” he concludes.