The founder of Trailfinders has urged customers to commit to booking future holidays before the “unprecedented bargains bookable now evaporate”.

Writing on the Trailfinders blog, executive chairman Mike Gooley warned that “costs would soar and holiday choices would become very limited” due to a lack of immediate capacity within the “stricken and shrunken aviation and cruise industries”.

In a post titled “To book or not to book”, he said: “If you arrange your travels through a reputable and expert agent, with an unblemished record for immediate refunds or who will alternatively rearrange your plans after fresh personal consultation (at no cost to you), then there is no risk other than missing out.

“When this pestilence passes, as all have in the history of mankind, and restrictions are removed, there will be an almighty rush of pent-up demand. However, the stricken and shrunken aviation and cruise industries will simply not have the capacity to cope at first. It will take many months, if not a year or two, for them to fully recover.”

He added: “Price is driven by availability and the unprecedented bargains bookable now will evaporate in short order. Costs will soar and your holiday choices become very limited, if you have not already secured them in advance.

“So the only risk is not getting that holiday in your diary. The worst that can happen is it may need to be amended, with advice, to a later date. Have that so very needed R&R to look forward to.”