Caribbean resort operator Sandals has seen a surge in late bookings for travel this autumn – driven by travel corridors to key destinations.
Unique Caribbean Holidays, the UK tour operator for Sandals and Beaches resorts, said that 35% of its bookings over the past eight weeks had been for travel within three months. This compares to a figure of just 16% during the same period in 2019.
Further evidence of this late-booking trend is shown by the fact that 19% of Sandals bookings in the eight-week period this year are for departures within 31 days.
Karl Thompson, managing director of Unique Caribbean Holidays, said: “It comes as no surprise to us that the volume of late business that we’re picking up has increased dramatically this autumn.
“With travel corridors in place to some of our key destinations including St, Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados, customers are booking last-minute holidays to get away before any further travel restrictions or lockdowns might be imposed.”
Thompson added that getting a PCR Covid test before travelling was “fast becoming the norm” for clients who were regarding it as a “small price to pay to be able to go on holiday”.
The all-inclusive operator has also seen an increase in holiday duration by an average of 16% compared to 2019 bookings.
Sandals still has availability on winter 2020/21 holidays to Antigua, Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia and its other destinations in the Caribbean.
One of Sandals’ major destinations, Jamaica, is yet to be granted a travel corridor meaning that any UK visitors have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return home. The Foreign Office also advises against all non-essential travel to the island.