Luxury operator Caribtours has seen an “early start” to peaks with last-minute Christmas bookings coming in for key destinations in the Caribbean and the Maldives.
Paul Cleary, the operator’s chief executive and owner, told TTG that “pent-up demand” for a festive long-haul break had fuelled strong bookings in the past few weeks with many clients booking just a week or two before departure.
“It’s all very late business for Christmas – yesterday we had two bookings for departures on 27 December,” he added. “People are desperate to get away from the gloomy wet weather after a very depressing year.
“We’ve had a compressed period of demand. It’s felt like peak season.”
Caribtours’ top destinations for winter-sun holidays have been the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, as well as the Maldives and Dubai – all of which currently benefit from having travel corridors with the UK.
Cleary added that he had “high expectations” for peaks after Christmas and the company has brought back all furloughed workers in anticipation of a “good January”.
“All of the business is remarkably late,” he said. “But we’re coming out of the crisis as people start receiving the vaccine. Although we still have to be careful.
“While I don’t expect January to be the same as the peak season we had last year, I think we’ll carry on being very busy.
“Everybody is being bought back off furlough and we’re geared up for a good January.”
Cleary also praised key Caribbean destinations for the way they have managed their Covid entry regimes “so sensibly and so cautiously”, which has allowed them to maintain their travel corridors with the UK so far.