Hoseasons and cottages.com have claimed a UK summer bookings “surge” after the country once again entered into coronavirus lockdown.
The brands reported a 10% year-on-year sales increase for peak summer breaks and a 39% rise in bookings for May half-term holidays. Agent bookings soared by 77% compared to the same turn-of-year period in 2020.
Simon Altham, chief commercial officer for parent company Awaze, thanked agents for their “support and enthusiasm” for promoting and selling UK holidays amid the pandemic, adding he believed 2021 “looks set to be a very big year for domestic tourism”.
“Following recent government announcements, online summer searches have surged as people look to guarantee their peak season break this year, with many clearly motivated by being locked down at home and needing something to look forward to,” he said.
“This situation is different from the first lockdown in 2020, when we saw an immediate drop in searches, as people were unsure when they would next be able to take a break. It is clear from our data that holidaymakers are feeling much more confident about things returning to normal by the Spring, following the prime minister’s recent comments about the ‘end being in sight’ – and this is inspiring them to look and book now.
“While during the current lockdown holidays are understandably on hold, as we all play a part in getting a grip on infections and transmission, we do expect to continue to see increasing demand as we edge closer to the spring.
“My advice to anyone thinking about taking a UK break this year is book as early as possible, as when we came out of the last lockdown customers were booking a holiday with us every 11 seconds – which led to a 2020 summer sell-out.
“We are therefore confident that we will see much stronger demand in 2021, which will be welcome news for our hard-working property owners up and down the UK.”