Holidays: Optimism for British travellers as holiday bookings see boost for 2021

Coronavirus may have placed the world into a temporary lockdown as authorities tackle the disease, however, Britons appear to remain positive that regular life will resume eventually, and travel remains a source of escapism. In fact, new research has revealed that a quarter of Britons have already booked their next holiday.


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The research conducted by Holiday Extras also showed that holidaymakers in the UK are confident that “normal service” will resume soon.

An optimistic 75 percent of those surveyed said they believe they will still take a holiday at some point this year.

A further 23 percent of those who have travelled within the last three months were so keen to get away that they said they’d be on the first plane the government deems safe.

Furthermore, as airlines including Jet2 and easyJet pushed ahead with early launches of their Winter 2020/21 flight programmes, it seems there is an upward trend for vacations to kick start next year.

According to digital travel marketing solutions firm Sojern, despite travel bookings appearing to be down year-on-year, there has been a significant upturn in flight bookings for January 2021.

In a blog post the Sojern analysts said: “We are seeing a significant 242 percent increase in global flight bookings made in the last 14 days to the UK for January 2021.

“We are seeing a similarly high booking level for Spain with a 160 percent increase in global flight bookings made in the last 14 days for trips to the UK with departure dates in January 2021.”

What’s more, even bookings to Italy seems to be seeing a boost when it comes to winter holidays.

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Seamus McCauley at Holiday Extras commented: “What people get from booking a holiday isn’t just the holiday itself – it’s planning it and looking forward to it – and now more than ever people have time to make plans and need something to look forward to as soon as this is all over.

“Airlines bringing their winter schedules forward so that people can book now is sensible for those looking ahead to the end of the current crisis.

“It also gives everyone something to look forward to.

“I expect the first thing people will want to do when all of this is over, is hop on a plane and get right back to seeing the world.”


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The upward tick in travel bookings could be down to airlines releasing winter sales, or an increase in flexibility around flight cancellations.

easyJet offered customers a two week period to book flights between 25 October 2020 and 28 February 2021.

Though the sale has now come to an end, travel optimists managed to get their hands on flights for as little as £29.99.

Meanwhile, earlier this month British Airways introduced its new “book with confidence” policy.

The airline is allowing passengers who book to change their destination, date of travel, or both, with no change fee.

This is valid for all new bookings made up to 31 May for travel between now and 31 December 2020.

However, it isn’t just Britons who remain hopeful about future holidays.

The research by Sojern also discovered that Middle Eastern, Western and Eastern European, and North American travellers are also keen to resume their plans.

Furthermore, the analysts say their findings show many international travellers are looking to return to the UK by the end of the year.

Sojern says: ” Both Eastern and Western Europe show a very early increase in year-over-year travel intent for January 2021 with an above-average year-over-year increase of 164 percent and 97 percent respectively compared to the same time last year.”

Despite this, there is little concrete evidence to say when exactly the global lockdown will be lifted, and at what point we can resume regular life.

At present many airlines have reduced or cancelled flights as far into the future as June.

Ryanair has announced call commercial flights will be cancelled until at least June 2020, meanwhile, easyJet has also followed suit with cancellations and will suspend the majority of its fleet from March 24.

Jet2, similarly, has cancelled all of its flights until April 31.

They will operate on 10 percent capacity, and review their measures weekly.

Meanwhile, the UK lockdown is initially planned to last for three weeks, though China’s extreme measures were in place for around 59 days before some rules were relaxed.

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