Bookings are “steadily” increasing for Hays Travel but there has been “no tidal wave” of sales since the relaxation of quarantine rules.
John Hays, managing director of the UK’s largest independent agency chain, said that daily sales across its network of shops were now around 40-50% of those seen during the same days last year.
“We think that’s pretty good given where we are,” he told TTG. “We were hoping for a big surge but there’s not been that tidal wave some people were predicting.
“Trading is ok but no better than that. We think the delays and confusion around lifting the restrictions has had an impact.”
Hays said that after just doing the “odd new booking” in May, sales had been “steadily picking up” through June and into July.
“We have quite a few people who have used their refunds to come back to us to book another holiday,” added Hays.
Hays has reopened most of its 600 shops around the UK over the past three weeks, although there remain some restrictions on opening stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“I think we’ve got all the shops open that we can open,” he added. “We did it on a soft basis and everybody wanted to come back. It’s worked really well.”