An agent has secured a £100,000 booking on the day the Covid vaccine programme was announced – but others have still to see demand return.
Lee Hunt of Deben Travel took the lucrative booking from a loyal client, describing it as “a good day”.
He said: “One of our regulars has booked four people to the Maldives for 12 nights next November. I also have a £10k Borneo and a £6k Dominican on the go, it’s not a bad way to start December.
“I’m excited to see such a big booking, but until they are sat in their business class seats I won’t be happy given the year we have just had.”
However, he stressed the sales were not representative of the situation as a whole.
“We’ve seen a good uplift in enquiries, without doubt. In the past few days we’ve had more enquiries than in the past two to three weeks, but they are not converting to bookings at the moment.
“Nothing is for winter; everything is Easter onwards. The people I have been speaking to are saying April onwards, because ‘hopefully we will have had our vaccine by then’.”
Swords Travel’s Mark Swords said it was too early to say if the vaccine had made a difference, but added: “We have definitely seen an increase in the past couple of weeks; people are getting more confident in general.
“We had seven enquiries over the weekend – the first time we had that amount since March. We’re also getting quite a bit of lates business, which is good, because we need the cash, but I think people will wait until post-Christmas before they make decisions.”
Diane Coleman, owner of Tickets Travel, does not plan to reopen her shop until Monday, but has been taking phone and email enquiries.
“The phone has barely rung, but I’m hoping it [the vaccine] will have an impact,” she said. “I’m wondering if the excitement of some freedom today has resulted in people Christmas shopping rather than booking holidays.
“People are maybe more preoccupied with their freedom first – maybe they want to go to the pub and have their Scotch egg. Hopefully they’ll talk about holidays while they eat it.”