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The latest Intent to Travel Index by hotel booking platform, hoo, has found that the number of UK holidaymakers intending to book a foreign holiday is at its highest since the start of the year, while hotel room bookings have also risen above pre-pandemic levels. hoo’s index found that 25% of us plan to head away on a foreign holiday within the next six to 12 months, up from a low of just 10% in July and the highest level since hoo began monitoring this intent to travel at the start of the year.
20% remain undecided, while just 55% of us now have no plans to book a holiday anytime soon – down from 90% in July. The removal of quarantine restrictions for double vaccinated holidaymakers (46%) has been the biggest influence in this travel intent revival, although more recent changes such as the removal of pre-departure tests when returning from ‘Green’ destinations (17%) and the simplification of the traffic light system to a single ‘Red’ list (16%) have also helped boost the sector.
The removal of a pre-holiday test to some countries (11%) and the change from a day 2 PCR test to a lateral flow if double vaccinated (10%) have had less of an impact. With growing stability across the industry, hoo’s analysis also shows that holidaymakers are already acting on this intent to travel as hotel booking volumes now sit 70% higher than they did prior to the pandemic.
And it’s not just overseas bookings that are outperforming pre-pandemic levels, here in the UK there has also been an 84% increase in hotel bookings when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, commented: “The tourism and hospitality trades have taken a big hit during the pandemic and while we’re certainly not out of the woods yet, there are some very promising signs that the industry is returning to a level not seen since before the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve seen a string of changes aimed at stabilising the sector to increase demand for foreign travel but up until now, these have failed to make any meaningful impact. However, the latest move to simplify the traffic light system to a single ‘Red’ list and remove some of the cost and necessity of COVID testing seems to have, at last, spurred a revival in our intent to travel. It’s also clear that this intent is being acted upon as demand for hotels has exploded with the volume of bookings far exceeding what was considered normal before the pandemic struck.”
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