Online travel agency On the Beach is calling for the travel industry to return cash to consumers which is tied up in Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) issued in 2020.
The trade has been issuing RCNs to customers whose holidays have been cancelled since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Atol financial protection for these RCNs has been extended to the end of September 2022.
On the Beach, which is not currently selling holidays for departures before September 2021, commissioned research from YouGov which found around 851,000 consumers were currently holding RCNs adding up to a total of £781.5 million.
Simon Cooper, On the Beach’s chief executive, said: “Covid-19 shocked the travel industry and it was challenging for everyone in the early months to manage the disruption and volume of cancellations.
“We’re over 14 months on now and yet the knock-on impact of refunds on consumer confidence continues to affect the industry.