The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has blamed in part the slow rollout of vaccinations in Ireland for a “minimal” increase in 2021 bookings.
The association said consumers held “lingering fears” surrounding Covid-19.
It believes higher levels of vaccinations are needed before “a safe return to international travel will be viable”.
The majority of Irish bookings being made at the moment are from consumers rescheduling trips which were due to take place in 2020, and were disrupted by the outbreak of the pandemic. Most bookings are being made for the latter part of 2021, with many travel agents apprehensive to proceed with bookings without certainty to protect customers and avoid last minute cancellations and disruptions as seen in 2020.
The ITAA has advised consumers to ensure they are booking with a company established in Ireland, as they will be subject to Irish consumer law under the Commission for Aviation Regulation.
Pat Dawson, ITAA chief executive, said: “So far there has been a trickle of bookings from September onwards, but no great numbers to any particular destination.
“In addition to this, younger people probably won’t receive the vaccine until sometime in late summer, which has certainly had an effect on bookings. We expect that bookings won’t really kick off until greater numbers of the population have received the vaccine, and a quicker vaccine rollout would enable a safe return to travel in time for summer 2021.”