Huddersfield-based travel agent Jetset Not Just Travel has seen a surge in bookings and interest in holidays abroad since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement setting out his roadmap out of lockdown.
Within minutes of the broadcast ending Colman and Rachael Coyne, who run the travel agency, were fielding calls.
Three holiday bookings were made Monday night alone, two to Cyprus and one to Tenerife and on Tuesday they were dealing with multiple enquiries for people wanting to jet off to destinations including Dubai, the Caribbean and Turkey.
“This is great news,” Colman said. “A lot of people are going to be booking for Europe from July onwards. We’re predicting that the Canary Islands, Greece and Bulgaria are going to be particularly popular.”
The scramble for holidays over the last 24 hours is a far cry from the previous 12 months for the couple who have dealt with ongoing problems affecting the travel industry during the pandemic.
“I was at my lowest ebb about two weeks ago,” Rachael said. “I just felt like I couldn’t go on cancelling people’s holidays anymore and not knowing when the situation would change.
But now I feel really excited. Summer 2021 is on! We’ve got some fantastic customers who have been understanding and supportive throughout and now they are back in touch with us wanting to book their next break. People are feeling confident again and we hope that momentum stays.”
Along with people looking to book their summer getaway this year, the couple has also seen an increase in bookings for 2022.
Colman said: “We’re already booking cruises, European destinations and long haul for 2022.
“We’re advising people to book now for next year because 90% of the prices at the moment are very good. Once everything gets going again those prices are bound to increase and there will also likely be capacity issues.”
Rachael said people would be more inclined to book through a travel agent rather than booking their own flights, accommodation and transfers online themselves.
“This is the year of the travel agent when people will see the benefits of booking through experts rather than going down the DIY route,” Rachael said.
“Because of everything that has happened over the last 12 months people are looking for security and being safe in the knowledge that if their holiday has to be cancelled then they have the backing of a professional travel agent to sort everything out for them.
“It’s a myth that booking the separate aspects of a holiday online yourself is always cheaper, besides the fact that when you trust your holiday to a travel agent to organise you have the added peace of mind that if something goes wrong there will always be someone on the end of the phone to sort it out.”