Travel Counsellors sees Spain surpass UK for summer bookings

Travel Counsellors has reported that Spain has “toppled” UK staycations at the summit of its top selling destinations list due to the relaxation of quarantine rules for arrivals from amber destinations.

Spain now accounts for 29% of bookings among the company’s franchisees, with the UK accounting for 12% and Greece 8%.

The homeworking group of some 1,500 travel agents said holiday bookings were already up by 10% week on week ahead of the announcement and said it expected them to rise further.

Half of all new bookings and re-bookings made last week are for summer 2021, the group added.

Kirsten Hughes, UK managing director, welcomed the announcement, saying: “This is a positive step in the right direction for both the travel industry and consumers looking to get a much-needed break away.

“We have been waiting for this clarity, which will certainly give Britons more confidence in booking late summer holidays to popular European destinations once again.”

However, she warned: “Travel remains more complex than ever at the moment, with the traffic light system and latest FCDO advice to navigate. Placing travel plans in the hands of an experienced travel professional has never felt so important.”

Travel Counsellors published a consumer survey report of 1,000 responses given in June 2021, which found more than 40% citing they ‘just want to get away’ as the main reason for booking a holiday.

Some 22% are planning to travel in the autumn, but 61% of respondents said they require more clarification on individual country requirements to boost confidence.

‘Booking with someone you can trust’ is the most important factor for 60% of respondents when considering travel plans.

Meanwhile, Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu said the company expected “an avalanche of demand” to France and Spain.

“Of course it won’t be quite so easy for families with unvaccinated children and teenagers,” he added. “However, the progress the UK has made with its vaccination programme means that the vast majority of adults are covered by the new rules.”

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