Agents have told TTG they have experienced and immediate uptick in positivity among clients, as well as enquiries and bookings, following the government’s Covid roadmap announcement on Monday (22 February).
Domestic trips could resume from 12 April according to the proposals, and international travel from 17 May "at the earliest" – subject to a fresh report by the newly reconvened Global Travel Taskforce.
Agents with retail premises may also be able to reopen their doors from 12 April.
The government will wind back the country’s current lockdown measures in five-week blocks, with each relaxation examined against four key tests – including rates of vaccine deployment, evidence of the vaccine’s effect on reducing rates of infection hospitalisation and death, and the impact of any new Covid variants.
"What a difference a day makes," said Tony Mann, director of Bradford’s Idle Travel. "We had a busy day on Monday before the government announcement; today (Tuesday), the phone is ringing off the hook.
"It’s a mixture of, ‘what’s happening with my booking?’, ‘can I swap my booking?’, and ‘can I have a refund?’. But there have been plenty calling to make new bookings, encouragingly."
Mann also revealed to TTG just how damaging the impact of transport secretary Grant Shapps’ comments on summer holiday bookings had been. "It knocked the stuffing out of me and my team," said Mann.
"We seriously wondered what the future would hold. The roadmap announcement, though, was totally unexpected in its scope, and it was a shock to hear a plan regarding travel.
"And although it won’t be as straight as a Roman road, it’s something we can work with and it’s given us some hope. We are made of resilient stock in travel, and we will adapt to the twists and turns that no doubt still lie ahead."