Summer 2021 sales are soaring according to TTG’s latest Travel Agent Tracker survey, with respondents reporting consumer confidence in 2020 travel having slumped to new lows.
The rate of Tracker respondents reporting summer 2021 bookings in Week 20 (week to 21 August) surged 6.5 percentage points (ppt) to 47.5% meaning nearly half of all respondents made at least one booking for summer 2021 last week.
It is also the highest rate for any booking window since Week 11 (week to 19 June) when the rate of respondents reporting sales for summer 2021 tipped 50%.
And despite many respondents remarking on the catastrophic effect the government’s decisions to revoke Spain, France, Malta and Croatia’s quarantine-free travel corridors have had on consumer confidence, Week 2020 nonetheless saw a 6.5 ppt increase in respondents reporting bookings for summer 2020, although comments suggest these are largely lower-value bookings for last-minute getaways to "safe list" destinations.
Meanwhile, the rate of respondents reporting bookings for autumn 2020 (14.5%) and winter 2020 (13.5%) have fallen to just about the lowest levels recorded by the Tracker since early June.
“We are trying to encourage bookings for summer 2021," said one respondent. "It would be nice to have bookings for the next few weeks to get some commission, but the work involved in getting clients back quickly or having to cancel isn’t worth the effort.”
Another said: “I have no wish to book anything for travel before spring next year. The amount of work involved booking, and then cancelling, getting refunds, etc, makes it hardly worthwhile.”