Christmas sales are expected to rise sharply this weekend as it follows the first payday after Christmas for millions of workers and also comes after the relaxation of Covid rules.
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Vacation companies are bracing for a spike in summer bookings this weekend, with one predicting their busiest.
Demand for breaks abroad had already skyrocketed in the wake of the government lifting restrictions on travelers with all vaccinations.
But holiday sales are expected to rise sharply this weekend as it follows the first payday after Christmas for millions of workers.
Simon Cooper, CEO of On the Beach, which launched in 2004, predicted it will be “the busiest we’ve ever had in our history.”
He said: “We hope it’s great with people who have been researching holidays all month jumping in and booking.”
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The Greek islands, Turkey and Dubai are among the destinations selling heavily through the online giant.
Cooper said bookings for Spain were “back where they should be” due to a requirement that all arrivals over the age of 12 be fully vaccinated.
Tui, Britain’s largest tour operator, forecast its most booked weekend since the pandemic began.
Chief Marketing Officer Katie McAlister said the renewed confidence is “unleashing pent-up demand for vacations in the sun.”
He added: “The appetite for travel is stronger than ever.”
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Helen Roberts, director of sales at luxury travel company Kuoni, said sales had been “steadily increasing” recently, with the firm producing many quotes for “bucket list” vacations.
“The relaxation of testing combined with a January payday means many people will be ready to hit the book button this weekend,” he said.
“Customers are ready to spend and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime.
Budget airline easyJet reported this week that bookings to beach destinations were in high demand, led by Greece and Turkey.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said: “We see a strong summer ahead.”
Saga, a specialist in vacations for the over-50s, has also seen a strong uptick in demand for its cruises.
Chief Executive Officer Euan Sutherland said: “While Omicron has impacted travel bookings through December and January, our outlook for cruises in 2022/2023 and beyond is positive.”
Prices at many European ski resorts popular with UK tourists have fallen, research reveals.
The total cost of ski school, equipment rental, lift passes, meals and drinks is lower than last year in two-thirds of the resorts analyzed by Post Office Travel Money.
The report was produced in association with Crystal Ski Holidays, which says demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels following the relaxation of travel restrictions, particularly by France.
The chief executive of the Port of Dover today warned of a major disruption to tourists when new EU rules come into force in September.
British tourists could be affected by the new biometric controls that will be required at the bloc’s border.
If the rules are enforced without a solution being found, tourist traffic at the crucial ferry port could come to a halt, according to Doug Bannister.
He explained: “As it stands now, nobody has a process for a car full of people on a dark and stormy night passing through a ferry terminal.
“So if we were to follow the process from the airport to the ferry port, that would involve people getting out of their vehicle in the middle of busy lanes.
“That would be unsafe and we just couldn’t let that happen.”