Agent members of the Advantage Travel Partnership have seen a 23% rise in bookings since the first announcement of an effective Covid-19 vaccine.
The spike, since Pfizer and BioNTech revealed their vaccine was 90% effective on November, and which led to an immediate boost for shares in travel firms, has been predominantly in bookings for travel in 2021.
Advantage said the progress report on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, along with the government’s announcement of a reduction in quarantine on arrival into the UK, also boosted consumer confidence and bookings.
Leisure director at the consortium, Kelly Cookes, said the recent surge in bookings represented “some green shoots of recovery” but urged members to remain “cautious”. Advantage members’ sales remain about 50% of what they would be expected to be at this time of a normal year.
Cookes said: “Since the announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine was proving to be 90% effective on November 9 we have seen a spike in bookings from our members in England by 23% [compared with the two weeks leading up to the first vaccine announcement].
“Undoubtedly this good news coupled with the news which followed about the efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, plus the announcement this week on the reduction of quarantine measures to five days later next month has helped to boost consumer confidence.
“As expected, bookings for 2020 departures were minimal. What is surprising is that the bookings with departures in 2021 are very evenly spread across the year. Departures for January to March 2021 currently compare favourably with the traditional peak travel dates of June to August 2021.
“Whilst we have been cautious about expecting pent up demand, these figures do begin to show some green shoots of recovery. It’s clear the British public are keen to get away sooner rather than later and are booking with their trusted local independent Advantage travel agent.”
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