HOLIDAYS are back: from Lapland and the Dominican Republic to Mexico and the islands of Cape Verde bookings are booming.
The long-awaited travel extravaganza has begun with Britons furiously spending on trips this winter to see Father Christmas in Finland, while others are splashing out on long-haul getaways to Florida, US, next summer.
The renewed confidence comes as most global travel restrictions have eased, vaccination levels are high in Europe and regulation and testing have been rolled back.
“You put that all together and factor in that people haven’t had a holiday in two years, and the demand is quite incredible,” said David Burling of Tui, the package holiday firm.
Speaking at the World Travel Market in London, he said when the Dominican Republic moved on to the UK green list on 1st November, its sales went up 569 per cent the following day.
“You have got customers who are real loyal to different destinations so all of a sudden when they open you get a real surge,” added the executive director.
“It’s just fantastic to see after such a difficult period over the last 18 months.
“We have seen similar patterns when destinations have opened whether it be Mexico or Cape Verde.
“Demand for Lapland – people have not been to see Santa for two years – is strong. The demand for Florida next summer [is strong].”
“The pent up demand a lot of people in the industry have been talking about for many months really is there.
“People haven’t had holidays in two years so in a lot of cases the demand is quite incredible.”
Other trends Tui has seen are holidaymakers splurging on upgrades to superior rooms and suites, booking for longer – on average by two days – and choosing long-haul destinations.
Recovery is on the horizon with expectations that summer 2022 will see travel return to 2019 levels.
“There’s real optimism around 2022….and a real energy across the whole global tourism sector to really come out of this and make the travel industry stronger than ever,” said Mr Burling.