Advantage members have enjoyed an increase in bookings following the announcement of successful trials for a Covid-19 vaccine.
US pharma giant Pfizer revealed on Monday (9 November) that its vaccine was more than 90% effective, leading to hopes of an end to the coronavirus crisis.
Advantage Travel Partnership’s leisure director Kelly Cookes told the Travel Technology Initiative’s The Fight Back webinar that its members had already seen increased sales following the announcement.
“Our members are optimistic – more so after Monday’s announcement,” said Cookes. “They have seen enquiries go up. They were much better on Tuesday in terms of sales than last week.
“We know there’s pent-up demand. But what we need is a very clear exit strategy from government. We need a testing regime to be rolled out and reduced quarantine.”
Cookes added the surge in bookings for the Canary Islands when the region was granted a short-lived travel corridor with the UK last month also illustrated consumers’ desire to travel.
She also said that Advantage’s consumer surveys had revealed “promising” results in the use of travel agencies by consumers aged 25 to 34 because of the complexities of booking travel during the pandemic.
“The booking process is complex and the in-resort experience is different, and that’s led to more people using travel agents,” explained Cookes.
“The 25-to-34 market has previously been the least likely to use an agent. But in our survey, 44% of people in this age bracket actually said they would use an agent now.”
Cookes also highlighted other less positive research results including how 78% of Advantage members predict they will run out of cash before June 2021 without specific sector support or an exit strategy from the UK government.
But she was confident this figure would be reduced significantly “as long as we start to see some plan for getting travel moving again”.