One of the key indicators of the economic and social harm being wrought by Covid is in inability to go stay away form home and enjoy and drink and meal. The hospitality industry has been in turmoil for nearly a year now. With BJ’s announcement are we finally seeing a true thaw or a false spring?
Holiday making, or the most part, has seemed like a distant dream since the UK’s first national lockdown 11 months ago to the day. Now, with the government’s roadmap to the end of restrictions mapped out, the prospect of a summer holiday seems tantalisingly close.
From April 12, data providing, domestic holidays will once again be permitted within the UK. And, though under the new plans international travel may be allowed from May 17, it is currently unclear whether mandatory testing and quarantining measures will still be in place. Currently a 10-day isolation period comes into effect upon return to the UK – costing £210, as well as an additional 10 days to account for with work/childcare.
This is to say nothing of other countries’ vaccination efforts and success in controlling the virus. It is for these reasons, therefore, that many brits have been seeking a holiday closer to home this year.
Since the end of January, holiday makers have been booking up domestic holidays in their droves. According to a BBC report focusing on Independent Cottages, a website listing nearly 2,000 properties, holiday booking companies are in a tight spot, with previously cancelled trips still needing to be fulfilled while many more inquiries stack up behind.
The company says it is seeing a lot of large family bookings, presumably families accounting for lost shared time over the Christmas break – or, indeed, the last year. With the UK’s vaccine rollout going as well as it is, elderly people feel more confident travelling to somewhere domestic where they know they’ll be afforded a certain level of population immunity.
Trends in increased booking began in March but are likely to skyrocket given this week’s good news on our plan to recovery – good news for a British holiday sector brought to its knees by a year of on-and-off travel restrictions.
Further than this, hospitality will slowly reopen at the same time as holidays become permissible, creating what some hope to be the perfect storm increased demand for recovery alongside fairer summer weather.
Things seem to be looking up – though rather tentatively for now. Having a route by which to plan their next steps will certain serve to comfort many businesses that have been left largely in the dark for the better part of the last year. Let us truly hope that the hospitality industry is about to emerge from its longest winter and enjoy a very fine spring and summer.
Bookings taken for May half-term onwards are up 39% compared to last year, with the summer holidays up 98%