As Covid continues to spread around the world, the original lockdown phase from early 2020 is already becoming a distant memory. At the moment, we seem to be in an evolving ‘lockdown loop’ that involves opening up services then closing them down and imposing restrictions when the number of cases rises to high… only to re-open services once the well-known ‘R Rate’ drops back to acceptable levels.
Travelling and going away on holiday is no exception to this ‘lockdown loop’, with various countries being added and removed (and then possibly added again) to the safelist. But how has this impacted whether we are going away abroad or staycationing?
Home sweet home?
According to the Guardian, the current state of the spread of coronavirus is impacting travel and tourism in the UK as well as travel abroad, and VisitBritain is “predicting a 49% decline in domestic tourism spend in 2020, equating to a £44.9 billion loss to the economy”.
While the government’s actions of adding and removing of countries from the safelist over the summer has caused uncertainty, leaving travellers rushing to get home quickly or even thinking twice about booking foreign travel, it seems that the alternative option to vacation in the UK has been impacted heavily as well. With the half term and upcoming festive holidays, it might be that we will start to travel more.
A winter getaway?
Holiday firm TUI saw an 83% drop in bookings for travel during the summer and things don’t seem to be improving as the firm has recently announced further cuts to its winter schedule. Whether its skiing on the piste or sunbathing in the sun abroad this winter, fewer people are prepared to jump on a plane, at least in the foreseeable future.
As restrictions continue to be imposed, and the winter nights get colder, more people might be tempted to get away over the winter. Our prediction is that, while fewer people are going away on holiday (whether abroad or in the UK), there will start to be a rise in ‘staycationers’ as people seek to find an escape from the dark winter months. If this doesn’t happen then the main reason could be due to restrictions such as a full nationwide lockdown, forcing us to stay at home.
2021, and beyond
Many travel companies have offered re-booking or vouchers rather than full refunds for holidays that were cancelled in 2020. This should make it easier for holiday firms to ensure that people travel in 2021 (having to cancel a holiday that’s already paid for is much harder than booking a holiday and wondering if you can afford to pay for it).
While many holiday goers might still request a refund, we believe that the frustrations of lockdowns are not going away in 2020, coupled with the hope that the situation will improve, will lead to more people travelling abroad from March or April next year.
What are your plans?
We would love to hear what your plans are for the winter months and possibly for 2021.
Why not share your thoughts or plans with us - get in touch with Ramsay Todd today