A travel agent is not taking any new bookings for July and August until there is more clarity on travel to destinations and what will be available in resort.
Deben Travel owner Lee Hunt said he was not prepared to sell holidays for this summer until he feels comfortable and confident in what his agency is selling.
Enquiries about this summer have increased following government confirmation on Friday night of the creation of a series of travel corridors, with a traffic light system to indicate which are ‘Covid safe’ to travel to from July 6.
Hunt said: “As agents we need our own traffic light system. If I am researching a client’s holiday, I need to be comfortable in myself that what I am booking is what they will get when they go away.
“We have got a reputation to uphold, I don’t want customers coming back and kicking off about their holiday. We cannot afford to have bad publicity.”
He admitted the move was a “risk” but added: “I am nervous about booking for clients until the government and tour operators can fill us with confidence.
“We would dearly love it to change; we desperately need the money to come in. We would generally do a reasonable volume of last minute bookings, around £100,000 to £200,000 for July and August.”
His decision was prompted by an increase in questions from clients interested in going away this summer.
“Over the weekend we have had so many questions that I have not been able to answer and it led me to do my own research with tour operators based on what I would want to know if I was booking a family holiday,” he added.
This included whether kids clubs and water parks would be open, how restaurants and bars would operate and if excursions would run, to what would happen in the event of a lockdown in resort or if a country’s “traffic light” colour changed while clients were away or after booking.
He called for more information to be put on operators’ websites about resorts as soon as possible. “Facilities are a big part of people’s holidays There is no information on operators’ websites; we know nothing about what is happening locally in these places, and we cannot get through to operators on the phone to ask them,” he said.
He added: “With new bookings, are the terms and conditions going to be the same, will customers be refunded or will it be a refund credit note. There are so many things we don’t know.”
So far, the agency has not witnessed “more of a trickle than a bounce” in summer bookings while holidays for this summer were also not lower in price, he said.
The agency is putting the news in its newsletter and has already put the message out to clients on its social media channels.
Existing bookings for July and August are unaffected by the agency’s decision.
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