Abta has seized on a potential Brexit-free summer to reassure consumers that they should have no worries about booking holidays.

The association took the opportunity to highlight the certainty yesterday’s development gives travellers for this summer, indicating that Easter could see a bookings bounce.

Aito also joined in, but warned that the pressure could transfer to winter 2019-20 bookings.

The initiative came as shares in Tui rose by 8%, or more than 59p to 775.5p, in its best ever day of trading after the UK’s exit from the European Union was postponed by up to six months.

Other travel stocks, including Thomas Cook Group – which gained 5% – together with British Airways owner IAG and easyJet all saw positive movement.

Abta updated its Brexit advice page – abta.com/Brexit – confirming that current arrangements, such as the European Health Insurance Card and pet passports, will remain in place during the extension.

“There are plans in place if the UK leaves the EU without a deal at the end of October, meaning flights will still be able to operate and a visa won’t be required for short-trips to the EU,” the association said.

“Abta has been advising travellers on steps they may need to take in advance to help avoid unnecessary future disruption in the event of a no-deal scenario.”

The association issued a statement to the national media and is toexplore communication opportunities to reinforce consumer confidence messages, believed to include a radio campaign.

The Brexit extension announcement “provides certainty that people will be able to continue to travel to the European Union exactly as they do today, at least until the end of October 2019,” chief executive Mark Tanzer said in a blog.

He repeated his assertion that the decision was “good news, and it should give people total confidence to book their holidays or business travel plans, knowing that nothing will change in the short-term”.

Tanzer told consumer media: “While many people have already made their holiday plans for this summer, booking early to get the holiday of their choice, others have been waiting to see what happens with Brexit.

“Easter is traditionally a popular time to book a summer holiday.

“The return to popularity of Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, not to mention the rise of Bulgaria, is making prices really competitive, including in popular destinations throughout the western Mediterranean.”

Aito director Noel Joesphides said: “I’m glad we have been given more time to get our ducks in a row and for the government to make the right decisions.

“The end of October sees the end of the main summer season in terms of travel bookings and, if we exit the EU then, it will be an easier time to do so from the travel industry’s perspective – but the pressure will of course simply transfer to winter season bookings instead.

“Whatever way it goes on the date front  – early, middle or late Brexit – unfortunately the travelling public still doesn’t seem to understand that both the EU and UK have stated at the highest level that there will be no flight cancellations and that free travel will continue without the need for visas.

“It’s business as usual on the holiday front, and Abta’s new radio campaign should help on this front too.”

And he urged: “Provided consumers book with fully bonded operators, they should take advantage of the many excellent deals available at present and enjoy spring, summer and autumn visits to the myriad of wonderful travel destinations to which we have easy access from the UK.

“I travelled to Cyprus on holiday with three of my children, their partners and my five-month-old grandson on March 30 for a week, and we had no problems whatsoever.”

Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee said: “The decision to avoid a no-deal scenario by extending the date for the UK’s exit from the EU by up to six months is welcome news for businesses and passengers.

“While we are well-prepared for a no-deal scenario with clear measures in place to continue flights between the UK and EU, we recognise the wider uncertainty around a no-deal scenario.

“The extension will give people confidence to book their holidays or business travel plans with total confidence, knowing that nothing will change to travel arrangements in the coming months.

“It is now essential that the government and Parliament use this additional time to find a solution that avoids a no-deal exit.”

MoreAbta welcomes six-month Brexit delay

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