Confidence slowly returning to UK travel sector

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As the Covid-19 travel requirements come to an end, new research from ABTA reveals how people are planning to capitalise on their new-found freedoms. The findings show 57 per cent of people have a holiday abroad booked for the next 12 months, up from 44 per cent in October.

Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey remain firm favourites for UK holidaymakers heading overseas but ABTA’s analysis of people’s travel intentions this year – compared to pre-pandemic, reveals other destinations are climbing up the popularity list.

When comparing people’s travel intentions from 2019 to this year, the number of people planning to travel to Egypt is up by 87 per cent, followed by Malta (up 51 per cent), the United Arab Emirates (up 31 per cent), Portugal (up 30 per cent) and Mexico (up 26 per cent).

All these destinations promise sunshine, sandy beaches and a multitude of things to see and do, while also welcoming UK holiday makers with either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative Covid-19 test – or no vaccination or testing requirements at all as is the case in Mexico.

The removal of Covid-19 travel measures in the UK today follows the steady relaxation of testing requirements since the start of the year, making the process of heading off abroad much easier and cheaper. Now, passengers, whether vaccinated or not, will no longer need to take any tests on return to the UK or complete a Passenger Locator Form, so holidaymakers can enjoy every last moment of their long-awaited break.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive at ABTA, said: “It’s a landmark day for holidaymakers and the travel industry. From now on people can enjoy their holiday up to the last minute without having to think about any paperwork or tests on their return to the UK. While we’re not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, our research clearly shows that consumer confidence is returning, and things are looking up for the industry.”

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