Travel firms are reporting a resurgence in interest in package holidays and strong demand for cruises and luxury breaks for 2021.

Speaking on a panel at this year’s WTM Virtual conference, travel bosses described a “positive outlook” for 2021 thanks to pent-up demand for travel.

Tui UK commercial and business development director Richard Sofer said there was a “real resurgence” in interest among consumers for end-to-end packages.

He said: “We are definitely seeing people really interested in packages. It’s all about their needs being catered for and guaranteed. What we have seen is underlying strong demand.”

He cited demand for four and five star package holidays of longer duration alongside the need for guarantees on levels of health and safety.

“The industry needs to continue to work hard,” said Sofer, who criticised the government’s slow response to calls from the industry, such as for Covid testing at airports.

Miles Morgan Travel chairman Miles Morgan said he felt more upbeat than he had since March, and cited the surprisingly high demand for cruises.

He said: “Cruise has been a bigger percentage of our business since July than it’s ever been. It shows how loyal these customers are to cruise and at the same time that the industry has done an exceptional job and come out with these protocols that build back confidence in cruising.”

Elegant Resorts managing director Lisa Fitzell said luxury beach breaks would have the “biggest opportunity” for sales next year, particularly in the Caribbean.

“Luckily the luxury sector is so resilient so we are very confident,” she said.