Travel Counsellors made more bookings in the first two weeks of June than the entire of April.
UK breaks accounted for half of last week’s bookings, as 60% of the company’s home-based travel agents recorded new business.
Travel Counsellors’ latest customer survey found that more than 50% feel optimistic about booking a UK or international trip departing later this year or next, with 30% of those with an international trip booked later this year still hopeful they will travel.
The company also reported a growing trend towards customers seeking winter sun trips later this year and in early 2021, with seven out of ten bookings made last week to destinations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.
The Mediterranean continues to be a summer 2021 hotspot, with Spain and Greece the most popular destinations for Travel Counsellor customers.
The survey, of about 400 customers, found 70% of customers sought clarification on quarantine restrictions in the UK and their outbound destination and wanted further information on health and safety measures at airports, onboard airlines and at their accommodation.
Sixty percent of Travel Counsellors customers said they would like to hear more details on flexible options when making a booking for later this year.
Travel Counsellors’ UK managing director and chief commercial officer, Kirsten Hughes, said: “We’re seeing positive signs that as lockdown eases in destinations across the globe, customers are considering their options for travel this year and next, with many telling their Travel Counsellor they’re craving something to look forward to and the opportunity to see extended family and friends again on UK breaks and further afield.
“It’s clear that customers still have concerns over the current quarantine restrictions in the UK and in other countries, and as trusted travel advisers we’re supporting our business owners to show care to their customers and a highly personalised service with the latest advice and guidance on travel restrictions, keeping traveller health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.”
Hundreds of Travel Counsellors have lobbied their MPs calling for an end to quarantine rules that were introduced on June 8, and the company recently launched a TC Flexible Promise, which allows for free amendments to trips up to eight weeks before departure on new bookings of selected packages for next year.
Hughes added: “Understandably travellers are looking for the most flexible options possible for trips towards the end of this year and next, and we’ve been working closely with all our supplier partners to understand the best opportunities available based on our customers personal preferences.
“It has been essential for us to support our Travel Counsellors to be there for their customers throughout this period, giving them all the tools and information they need to provide the latest travel advice during a time of continuous change. It’s during this crisis that the value of a caring, trusted travel adviser has been proved beyond doubt, as customers need the reassurance that comes from being able to rely on professional and reliable experts, who will always be available for them as borders across the globe begin to gradually open again.”
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