TUI bookings drop by 89% as holidaymakers wait for coronavirus vaccine rollout

Many are holding off scheduling holidays at the moment – and TUI bookings have plunged by 89% compared to a year ago.

With the vaccine rollout in full swing, some are waiting to get jabbed before they think about jetting off.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam also warned it’s still to early to think about summer getaways.

At yesterday’s No.10 news briefing, he warned: “The more elaborate your plans are for summer holidays, in terms of crossing borders, in terms of household mixing, given where we are now, I think we just have to say the more you are stepping into making guesses about the unknown.

“I can't give people a proper answer at this point because we don't yet have the data. It's just too early.”

With this being said, it’s no surprise the UK’s largest tour operator has been hit hard.

TUI saw a plunge in winter bookings as the Covid-19 second peak sweeping Europe saw major restrictions take hold and holidaymakers stay home.

The UK's largest tour operator said bookings plunged by 89% compared with a year ago, with November and December hardest hit.

Summer bookings for 2021 have dropped 44% compared with last year, bosses added.

According to the company, around 2.8 million customers have booked a summer holiday with Tui.

Bosses plan to operate at 80% capacity during the peak season, compared with summer 2019.

The travel firm added it expects most travellers are waiting to see how successful Covid-19 vaccine rollouts are before committing to any bookings, although numbers are growing steadily.

Meanwhile, health secretary Matt Hancock refused to indicate a possible timeline for the lifting of restrictions after being asked whether measures could be in place for months or even years in order to keep the spread of variants under control.

He stressed the introduction of the quarantine hotel strategy and stricter enforcement was “on track, particularly from countries of concern.”

But he added: "Of course we want to lift these measures as soon as is safely possible, but for now the precautionary principle is the best one.”

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