The addition of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the UK’s travel corridor list has led to an immediate interest in calls and bookings for long-haul specialist Gold Medal.

The trade-only operator said room nights booked, and call volumes, both increased by triple digits compared to the weekend before last Thursday’s announcement that eight destinations would be added to the corridors list.

Gold Medal, which saw Dubai become its most popular destination over the weekend, is due to re-issue its Guide to Dubai for agents with offers to capitalise on demand. It has already activated a booking incentive where travel agents can win one of ten £100 Amazon vouchers by making Dubai package bookings before December 31.

It noted that 70% of Dubai bookings were for its premium brand Pure Luxury, with luxury booking across all destinations accounting for half of the company’s revenue.

Sales director Nick Hughes said: “The announcement of a travel corridor at the end of last week had an immediate positive impact on Gold Medal. Very soon after the news broke, we had offers published through social media, and since Friday have sent e-shots to agents with a range of 2020 and 2021 offers including Dubai – Maldives twin-centres, Christmas and New Year specials, family-orientated half term breaks and so on.

“Over the weekend Dubai moved to become our most popular destination. Call volumes and room nights booked all increased by triple digits compared to the previous weekend, with sales to Dubai accounting for a fifth of all those taken. On Friday, 70 per cent of our Dubai bookings were for luxury holidays, through our Pure Luxury brand, and of all the luxury sales last week Dubai accounted for nearly half the revenue – strongly suggesting that consumers are not only desperate to travel, but also that they want to treat themselves when they finally can.

“The message for any agent who has a customer toying with a break to Dubai once the current ban on travel is lifted is, book now. There are some phenomenal deals available and the destination’s hotels, excursions, theme parks and malls have all worked hard in readiness to welcome tourists back.

“It’s provided us with a real boost after months of challenges and we’ll be working hard with our agent partners in the days to come to ensure their customers know they can book with confidence and travel safely.”