More travel companies have reported a rise in bookings as the industry eagerly anticipates the destinations to be included on the government’s ‘Covid travel list’.

Firms have seen a rise in enquiries – and bookings – since the government confirmed on Friday it would release the list, and relax quarantine restrictions for arrivals into the UK.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps told Parliament on Monday that the list is due to be revealed “this week”, but destinations including France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Germany and Croatia have bee widely touted to be included in media reports.

The UK’s second largest tour operator, Jet2holidays, reported “a number of positive trends” in terms of bookings and enquiries, with destinations reportedly among the government’s yet-to-be confirmed ‘Covid travel list’ proving popular.

But it called for “clarity from the government” over the countries on the list.

A spokesperson for the operator, which is due to resume its programme on July 15, said: “Our customers have been eagerly anticipating news about air bridges from the UK for some time, and based on the demand and enquiries we are experiencing it’s clear that they are ready for their much-needed and well-deserved holidays. That desire to get away this summer, coupled with the fantastic deals we have to destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, means we are seeing a number of positive trends. That is particularly the case for countries that are reported as having air bridges in place.

“We will be announcing further detail about our Summer 20 plans shortly, and we cannot wait to tell customers and independent travel agents all about them”

Travel agency consortium The Advantage Travel Partnership, whose members generate £4.5bn of travel sales each year, said it had seen a 30% increase in bookings week on week up to Monday, June 29. Leisure director Kelly Cookes said the spike was “really encouraging”.

Manchester-based agency, and Advantage member, Aspen Travel made a £25,000 booking for a group of eight people to Las Vegas shortly after it opened its doors for the first time since lockdown on Monday morning.

Travel Counsellors, which has more than 600 homeworking agents in its group, reported an 89% rise in bookings over the weekend against the previous Saturday and Sunday.

Online travel agency Teletext Holidays reported a 158% increase in bookings across the same 48-hour period, when compared to the previous week. Its latest weekend sales were seven times the number of bookings recorded on comparable May dates.

Luxury operator Abercrombie & Kent reported an anticipated “spike” for European villas and holidays “closer to home on the continent”. Founder Geoffrey Kent said: “This is exactly what the travel industry needs and of course, will help the mood of the nation.”

The latest reports follow “significant increases” in bookings reported by On the Beach on Tuesday, a 50% rise in bookings by market leader Tui, and “upward trends” for short-haul bookings from Travel Republic parent dnata Travel Group.

But dnata chief executive John Bevan warned the industry must take the rise in bookings, from low bases, “with a pinch of salt”.

july2banner