The hugely positive news coming from Pfizer has given the travel industry the preverbal ‘shot in the arm’ it desperately needed. Tour companies and online travel agents reported an immediate surge in enquiries and bookings. Searches for holidays for next spring and summer shot up by 48%, with Mediterranean summer beach holidays particularly searched for, along with Easter skiing holidays. Most popular destinations for late 2020 include the Maldives, the Canaries Islands and the UAE including Dubai.
Another new vaccine that protects against Covid-19 is nearly 95% effective, early data from US company Moderna shows, which provides confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic.
Moderna says it is a "great day" and they plan to apply for approval to use the vaccine in the next few weeks.
However, this is still early data but another potential vaccine which the UK has secured 5 Million vaccines for Spring 2021.
After a summer of on-off travel corridors and lockdowns, booking anything other than a last-minute trip might seem risky, but operators and agents said pent-up demand means that bargains available now are likely to disappear rapidly once further details of a vaccination programme emerge. It remains crucial, of course, to check that trips are fully refundable in the event of restrictions continuing.
TIP: Those looking to secure the best deals on flights should make their bookings on a Sunday, when they were typically 17% cheaper than bookings made on Fridays, with the cheapest day to depart in any given week usually being Thursday.
The travel industry wholeheartedly welcomes these advances in vaccine developments. The vaccine could potentially restore consumer confidence and mean seeing quarantine-free air travel come to fruition. It has been hit hard by the drop in passenger numbers since the start of the pandemic, with airlines including British Airways and EasyJet sadly having to cut thousands of jobs as travel remains uncertain.
The constantly changing quarantine list has left international travellers uncertain as to where they can travel to for a holiday, and plans are often scuppered depending on the government’s weekly update. This has created chaos for the travel industry, with many airlines and travel agents quickly pouring into ‘open’ destinations, and at the same are forced to cancel flights and package holidays.
Currently, the UK has a ‘travel corridor’ policy in place for international travel. Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said in an interview with Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio that he is looking into the quarantine period currently required from some destinations. With the increased capacity for fast testing and testing being available privately, he is confident that many Britons will be able to enjoy a Christmas break. Check out the current list of travel corridors here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. This list is regularly updated.
Light at the end of the tunnel…
The vaccine has given a boost and a “light at the end of the tunnel” feeling for many families nationwide. We can all now, fingers crossed, look forward to worry-free travel and start to live our lives more normally.
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