Travel: Grant Shapps issues warning on booking holidays
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Spain attracted an average of 18.01 million UK tourists annually before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Though these figures have plummeted amid ongoing travel restrictions, it seems Britons are already eager to return.
Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown, bookings for overseas travel are reported to have seen a “surge” from a number of travel firms.
Among them is Skyscanner, which says new data suggests Britons are eyeing a return to Spanish resorts from August.
Experts from the travel comparison website state Spain was “the top destination booked by UK travellers on Skyscanner immediately following recovery roadmap announcements, with the most popular outbound month being August.”
The data also showed three resorts that appear to be particularly attractive to UK tourists.
The report continued: “Most trips (54 percent) will be a week or less in length, and the top booked destinations in Spain are Malaga, Palma and Ibiza.
“Spain has historically been the top searched destination by UK travellers on Skyscanner.”
According to the experts, prices for holidays to Spain are currently up to 25 percent lower during summer than they were in 2020.
However, Spain is not the only destination holidaymakers seem keen to make a return to.
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Greece and Cyprus have also seen an uptick in bookings.
It comes following suggestions from both nations that British travellers will be welcomed back in the summer months.
Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis said the nation wanted to make travel to the country “as smooth and hassle-free as possible.”
He explained UK tourists will need to either show a certificate providing they have been vaccinated, or proof they have antibodies against the virus or a negative COVID-19 test.
Meanwhile, Cyprus’ government has also said that they will welcome tourists to the nation if they have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Skyscanner’s report states: “Searches to Greece from the UK for summer 2021 have increased 44 percent week-on-week.”
It also notes interest in Cyprus could be due to reduced pricing.
“Flight prices to Cyprus from the UK for travel in the summer months of June, July, August are up to 17 percent lower compared to the same booking and travel period in 2019.”
It is not yet certain when holidays will resume, but May 17 has been cited as the day some international travel could resume from.
Jon Thorne, traveller expert at Skyscanner said: “After a year of ongoing restrictions, people are beginning to look forward to the possibility of travelling again, with renewed positivity among UK travellers on Skyscanner translating into surges in both searches and bookings over the past few weeks.
“Our community has been really engaged with the changing travel landscape and are reacting to the news as the situation evolves.
“The potential easing of restrictions in the summer combined with the vaccine rollout has led to hopes that trips with family and friends to favourite European destinations might be just around the corner.”
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