Independent agency Oyster Travel has enjoyed a surge in bookings with £125,000 in new business during the first week of March.
Sophie Baker, owner of the Norwich-based agency, told TTG that sales had “gone nuts” since Monday (1 March) with Oyster Travel enjoying its best week since January 2020 before the Covid-19 crisis started.
“It’s incredible and a lot of people are spending more – doubling up on what they didn’t spend last year,” she said.
“We’re also seeing bigger groups, as people have lost out on spending time with their families.”
Oyster’s largest booking this week was for a group of 22 people going to Turkey worth £45,000.
“It’s a rebooking from last year with more people – it’s gone up from 15 to 22 people,” added Baker.
Other highlights include an £11,000 booking for a family to Borneo and a £27,000 trip to Kenya, while there has also been a shift to more people rebooking cancelled trips rather than requesting refunds so far this year.
“Of 44 bookings we had going before May, 37 have wanted to rebook," said Baker. "We’ve not got that huge chunk of commission we have to pay back.”
Baker said most clients were booking for departures beyond this summer – from September onwards and into 2022 – although one client has booked a trip to the Maldives departing on 18 May, just one day after the UK government has said it may allow overseas holidays to resume.
“They are hedging their bets – they know it’s protected and they might have to pay for Covid tests,” added Baker.