Aito has warned demand for summer holidays “may outstrip supply” following the uptick in bookings for travel from 17 May.
Aito chairman Chris Rowles said website activity at Aito members had “surged overnight”.
“It’s a big sigh of relief, in all honesty, so we expect bookings to follow swiftly, as they need to do to ensure that the infrastructure – from flights to hotels, villas and apartments – can be put in place speedily. Demand may outstrip supply.”
Rowles said the next key step was for all trade associations to be included in the Travel Task Force meetings, “to ensure that decisions are agreed mutually and are based on practical travel industry experience, sadly missing last time around”.
He added: “Proof of vaccination, in the form of an app or a physical document, needs to be high on the agenda.
“Testing will doubtless be part of the equation for non-vaccinated citizens and needs to be available at much more reasonable costs. If other countries can offer testing free of charge or for as little as £50, so must the UK.”
Aito member Sunvil Holidays was among those reporting strong consumer interest.
Chris Wright, Sunvil managing director said: “We saw an uptick even before the announcement on the back of it being leaked in the press. The website went ballistic. There is a real optimism in the air, especially for June onwards.”
Wright did not give figures, saying percentages were “meaningless”.
“We thought there would be huge demand for the latter part of the season, but it’s fairly balanced. Whether it continues I don’t know, but at the moment we’re going to lap those bookings up.”
“Greece is the one that seems to be opening up earlier, so that’s really strong, but Portugal is on the red list and we’re also getting bookings for that.”