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Scott Dunn ‘on track for record-breaking November’

Luxury operator Scott Dunn claims to be on track for a record-breaking November as demand for holidays hits pre-pandemic levels.

Trading is more than 300% ahead of November 2020 and the business saw its biggest single week from November 8 for enquiries and bookings since January 2020.

The company has not only already hit budget for the month but is in line to outperform November 2019, the previous best November on record.

However, the company’s figures were released before the temporary ban on flights to six countries in southern Africa was imposed due to the emergence of a new Covid variant.

Scott Dunn had described Africa as making a “ferocious comeback” this month with South Africa bookings up by more than 200% year-on-year.

The success of the UK vaccination roll-out was cited as the catalyst for the resurgence in demand for travel which has been consistently rising since May.

The biggest increase in demand coming followed the radical reduction of the travel red list in October.

Scott Dunn was back to 88% levels of departures last month over October 2019.

Chief executive Sonia Davies said: “Given where travel has been in the last 18 months and the fact that in October travel to Asia and Latin America was still very restricted, we were delighted to see our business returning strongly.

“Our guests continue to want to get away for a much-needed break, and Greece, Maldives, UAE and Portugal were our top destinations. And it was also great to see trips taking place to Oman, Jordan, Canada and South Africa too.

“Although the sudden change in advice in October from the Moroccan government resulting in banning direct flights from the UK did result in some challenges to ensure our guests in country could get home, and to look at alternatives for those about to depart, we re-routed guests back via Portugal, and also managed to rebook a guest due to travel the next day to Cyprus instead of Morocco. It was unexpected, but it hasn’t dented overall confidence.”

She added: “We have had a number of our team take training trips to: Grenada, Mauritius, Peru, Spain, Italy and the Maldives, to understand the latest situation on the ground and how our partners in country are ensuring Covid-safe protocols are in place.

“And by the end of the year, that list will have expanded further to include Egypt, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the USA, ensuring that we start 2022 full of insider tips and inspiration for our guests.

“We are seeing increasing interest in long-haul experiential trips as well as escaping to the sun.

“All different groups are looking to travel – families with young children, those with teenagers, multi-generational families looking to reconnect, as well as couples and groups of friends looking to experience somewhere different.

“People are also now looking further ahead to plans for 2022 as confidence is higher that travel will continue to be possible rather than the stop-start experience of 2020 and the first half of 2021.”

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