Travel Counsellors says its booking figures in the last week were back at pre-pandemic levels thanks to the UK government’s decision to scrap pre-departure tests.
The homeworking travel agency group enjoyed a sales increase of 213% for the week commencing January 3, including what has been dubbed ‘Sunshine Saturday’, compared with the previous week.
In terms of new enquiries, Travel Counsellors reported its highest weekly figure since the start of the Covid pandemic, and a 236% week-on-week rise.
Booking enquiries were split across the seasons, with 27% for immediate travel, 20% for this summer, and 13% for this Easter.
The most popular destinations asked for by customers were the United Arab Emirates, the US, the Maldives and Spain for holidays in January and February, with 74% of bookings for premium leisure and tailormade trips.
A quarter of all Easter enquiries have been for the US. In total, the US, Greece and Spain accounted for more than 50% of the group’s summer holiday enquiries.
UK managing director Kirsten Hughes said: “Last week’s positive trading figures were clearly boosted by the announcement of the scrapping of pre-departure tests.
“This decision definitely installed more consumer confidence and encouraged people to book that long awaited holiday, which translated into bookings returning to pre-pandemic levels. ‘Sunshine Saturday’ has undoubtedly made a comeback this year.”
In a recent poll of Travel Counsellors’ leisure clients more than 50% of respondents said they planned to take two or more international holidays this year.