Fluctuating lockdown restrictions could play havoc with capacity across travel.
This was the stark warning from Martin Alcock, director of Travel Trade Consultancy, delivering a state of the industry address during TTG’s inaugural Keep Your Business Alive seminar.
If the government repeatedly lifts and reimposes social distancing rules in a bid to curb a second or third wave of Covid-19 infections, the travel industry could be ill-prepared to cope with the surge in demand during those windows of opportunity, he warned.
“[If] everybody piles down to Cornwall [when this is over], which is gridlocked every summer – will it be able to cope?,” he said. “These sorts of issues are going to come to the fore.”
Clients may also be unwilling to book in advance if the future is uncertain, he added, while prices may surge.
“[If] you get these windows of availability before [shorter] lockdowns, what you’re going to do is drive people into narrower and narrower windows of opportunity, and that’s straight away going to increase prices.”
Alcock gave the example of a chain of holiday properties, which normally enjoys bookings three months in advance potentially being forced to grapple with reservations just two weeks ahead.