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WTM Virtual: Get ready for a surge in bookings this New Year

Travel agents can expect to see a surge in bookings this January due to a “pent up demand for travel”.

The optimistic outlook came on the first full day of the World Travel Market in London, which is being held virtually this year. Tourism boards, government ministers, international bodies and well-known travel brands have decided to be a part of the largest gatherings of the travel and tourism industry, via Zoom due to the pandemic.

An early meeting revealed that holidaymakers will prioritise travel in 2021 where price will not be the main driver.

Rachel Read, head of communications, said: “The travel industry is always incredibly resilient on motivation. Alongside catching COVID-19, people’s biggest fear was more having to quarantine. They really want to go but they are just concerned about means - so whether they can actually get there and what the infrastructure would be like in terms of what happens when I come back? The money factor is different for different people. People have lost their jobs but are prioritising travel. They really want a break because that is part of why people go on holiday, which is to have a change of scenery and that demand still exists.”

According to data from Travelzoo, January is the most popular month for booking holidays scheduled in September, followed by May and June.

James Clarke, general manager UK, said: “We know that in this market price is not going to be a driver: it’s going to be around refund-ability and flexibility when making a new booking.”


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