Comment: Upturn boosted by the ‘sod it’ factor

Agents have become used to false dawns, but a route to recovery has finally appeared, says Travel Weekly’s editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

Travel agents have become used to false dawns over the past two years, but conversations with business owners this week suggest they can finally see a route to recovery.

Miles Morgan sums up the past 22 months neatly in his Travel Weekly column this week, comparing the pandemic to a rollercoaster ride that has never stopped to allow agents to catch their breath.

But like others charged with plotting a path out of the crisis, Miles senses a combination of political will to find ways to live with Covid and customers’ desire to get away offers hope that the rollercoaster might finally be slowing.

Reports of booking bonanzas in the national media at the weekend can be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, of course, with agents and operators still seeking meaningful income that will take months or even years to materialise.

Yet there seems to be a consensus that last week’s relaxation of emergency restrictions has loosened the handbrake on consumer confidence not only for summer bookings but also for those invaluable short-term departures that offer much-needed balance payments in the near future.

Like most industries, travel is full of terminology, acronyms and buzzwords that would make little sense to the uninitiated, but one phrase that came to the fore this week needs little explanation.

While many customers remain cautious, there are plenty who are unwilling to keep putting off the bookings that brought them so much hope and joy in better times. It may not be the most academic description, but long live the ‘sod it factor’.

Comment originally from Travel Weekly January 13 edition

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