With lockdown restrictions easing in phases, many Brits are eager to jet off this summer and enjoy their first summer holiday abroad since 2019. One travel boss is warning high demand for international travel could send prices soaring, financially impacting vast numbers of holidaymakers hoping to enjoy a change of scenery.
Glenn Fogel, from Booking.com, said pent-up demand had resulted in the cost of holidays rising already. He added that with fewer aircraft in operation this year, these costs would continue growing over the coming weeks. This could lead to Brits having to pay way more than they expected to travel abroad.
Brits eager to enjoy a summer holiday
Mr Fogel said many Brits are desperate for a holiday abroad after the chaos of the last year and the many restrictions they have had to abide by. This had led to pent-up demand that has impacted the cost of travelling abroad.
At the same time, many airlines have had to cut the number of flights in operation because of a combination of travel restrictions, safety measures, and cost-cutting. With fewer planes in the skies, those who are determined to secure a seat to travel overseas will have to pay more. Despite travel restrictions easing, airlines still face a lot of uncertainty in the ever-changing situation, which has made it difficult for them to plan ahead and increase flight numbers.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Fogel said, "There's so much pent-up demand. Everybody wants to go travelling, but we all want to do it safely."
Another industry official, aviation analyst John Grant, agreed. He said, "That will, in the short term, create a rush of pent-up demand and revenge spending. In turn, the airline algorithms will detect an uptick in demand and move prices up accordingly."
Concerns over Covid status systems in place
One thing that is causing a lot of concern for travel industry officials and holidaymakers is the confusing Covid system that is in place. At present, there is little clarity concerning how governments will recognise testing and vaccine statuses, with different countries appearing to follow their own systems.
Travel industry officials believe that one single system is needed for consistency and to avoid confusion for travellers and the travel industry. Several different systems are being looked at, including travel passes from the International Air Travel Transport Association.
However, in the meantime, many continue to express concerns over how they can prove their vaccine and testing status and what the rules are in different countries.