The UK travel industry has to be arguably one of the most impacted sectors by the recent pandemic. However, the combination of low prices, cheaper tests and increasing consumer confidence is giving the sector a much-needed boost.
The UK Government travel update this week provided some stability and reassurance to holidaymakers who are looking to travel later this year, with few changes made to the traffic light system. In total seven new counties were added to the traffic light green list including: The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Liechtenstein and Lithuania, from 4am on 30 August 2021.
Shaun, who runs the independent travel agency, Inspire Travel by Shaun in Bourne and is part of The Inspire Travel Group, says:
“It’s been a horrendous time for the travel industry, but slowly and surely we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Following the opening up of some of the more popular holiday destinations in July, such as Ibiza, Greece, Croatia and the Balearics, lots of Brits have now been able to take a well-deserved overseas break this summer, and many of my customers have told me that the process of testing and travelling has not been as challenging as they originally thought. In fact, many are saying that the actual travel experience is better than ever, especially at the airports.”
Shaun adds that whilst there continues to be controversy over the cost of testing, prices have dropped dramatically in the last few weeks, and recommends that holidaymakers work with their travel agent to get the best deal.
He says: “A good travel agent will have access to discounted Covid tests and many of my clients have been pleasantly surprised that the cost of testing hasn’t been as high as they thought. In fact, the cost of the testing together with really low prices are making the combined cost of a holiday lower now than they have been for years.”
Looking ahead, he adds that September will be a very busy month for departures and believes that there will be a rush for holidaymakers to get away in October half term and Christmas.
“I have been getting a lot of enquires for October half term and getting away for Christmas is already proving popular. Prices continue to be very affordable but as we get closer to autumn, the cost of holidays are likely to increase and availably will dwindle. The addition of Canada and Switzerland to the green list will be popular with skiers and adding Finland is great news for those looking to book Lapland for a special Christmas break.
“Whilst trading has obviously been slow throughout the pandemic, it’s definitely now beginning to pick up. There is currently a huge pent-up demand for travel and as the restrictions are increasingly relaxed, I believe there will be a boom in Brits wanting to go on holiday,” continued Shaun.
He also believes that whilst the pandemic has dealt a hammer blow to the travel industry, it has in fact done a great job in restoring faith in the great British travel agent.
“Over the last 16 months I have kept in touch with all my customers keeping them informed of the ever-changing travel advice and helping them plan their next holidays. My clients tell me that they are now really seeing the many benefits of booking with an agent in these uncertain times. They tell me they feel very comforted that I offer my services to them 24/7 and always have the very latest information and guidance available.”
Shaun runs a truly independent and privately-owned travel agency but benefits greatly from working in partnership with The Inspire Group. Being independent means that the agency is not tied to an airline or tour operator, so can give completely unbiased advice to customers on their travel requirements. With the backing of The Inspire Group, the agency is part of a large powerful group that has access to the best commercial deals and therefore, able to offer amongst the best and most competitive prices.
Lisa Henning, Managing Director of the Inspire Group adds: “It’s not too late to get away for late summer. Prices for September continue to be the lowest I have ever seen and, what with a very disappointing summer in many parts of the UK this year, it’s a great time to get some last-minute sunshine before those dark winter months move in.”