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UK holidaymakers are ditching their foreign travel plans in response to the latest Omicron variant, according to the latest research by hotel booking platform, hoo, just as the industry looked as though it was heading in the right direction for 2022. hoo’s Intent to Travel Index has been monitoring UK holidaymaker sentiment since January of this year and the last index carried out in October was showing strong signs of positivity for the UK travel and tourism sector.
Back in October, just 55% of holidaymakers stated they had no plans to book a foreign holiday in the next 12 months, down from a peak of 90% recorded in January. However, the emergence of the Omicron variant has brought yet another dark cloud of uncertainty over the sector and the government’s decision to implement travel restrictions seems to have immediately dampened the growing holidaymaker positivity.
hoo’s latest index shows that just 24% of holidaymakers now plan to book a foreign holiday over the next 12 months, with a notable 76% stating they will not be doing so. This is the fourth highest level recorded by hoo since their index began, although this seems set to increase further as Omicron continues to spread.
What’s more, hoo also found that 85% of us have no plans to travel over Christmas now that restrictions have tightened due to the Omicron variant. hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, commented: “A further dose of travel uncertainty is the last thing we wanted to see but unfortunately we look set to endure another chaotic Christmas of travel due to the spread of the Omicron variant. In the short term, many will be facing the tough choice of whether or not to travel home for Christmas having not seen loved ones for two years. In the long term, we’re facing yet another setback for a travel and tourism sector that was only just turning a corner after the initial Covid outbreak early last year.”
“We were starting to see signs of genuine optimism about travel with more holidaymakers feeling confident about booking a trip away, but unfortunately, we now find ourselves back where we started in this respect,” he added.
Latest survey of 1,026 UK population carried out by hoo via consumer research platform Find Out Now.
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