Chesterfield travel agents say people remain reluctant to travel abroad amid uncertainty of government restrictions
Spain may have just lifted its restrictions on travellers from the UK, but a Chesterfield travel agents says there remains little appetite for trips abroad this year.
In fact, Jo Bunting and Alison Sadler, owners of Il Mondo Travel on Chatsworth Road, have not had any enquiries for a holiday to Spain as yet with business still relatively quiet and only a handful of countries on UK government’s green list for entering.
Spain, which welcomed British tourists from Monday, May 23, remains on the amber list meaning people should not go unless it is for essential family or business reason.
However, it seems that many are defying pleas from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps not to go and have "more patience", with thousands of Brits having having reportedly already jetted off to destinations including Lanzarote, Ibiza and Majorca this week.
At Il Mondo Travel, both Jo and Alison say they advising customers against travelling to the country anyway – although they believe people are still hesistant on booking a break abroad, with those wanting travel to choosing to defer their holidays until 2022.
“To be perfectly honest, business is very slow,” Jo said. “We’re still moving people from last year to this, and now from this year to next. At the moment the only places you can go really are Portugal and Madeira.
"We’ve done a couple of bookings and we've got people travelling at the end of June but nothing before that, although that seems the same across the board really. This is new business – people who are desperate to get away for a bit of sunshine knowing they don’t have to come back and isolate because that’s the problem.
"We’ve had quite a lot of enquiries for next year but not a lot of definites. People are keen to have a think and dip their toe in the water but we’re not getting much in the way of conversions. People aren’t actively thinking about travel.”
She added: “When it comes to Spain, we’re being perfectly honest with people. We’ll book at TUI or a Jet2 package but of course all the Jet2 stuff has been cancelled and that’s going to resume hopefully by June 24 and it’s the same with TUI, just cancelling destination after destination because of the uncertainty.
"The consensus that we’re getting from people is that, maybe this year they’ll just write it off and look at 2022 or 2023. We do a lot of cruises and you can sail around the Cornish waters for three nights but it’s not really appealed to people.”
Alison said: “I think people are keeping their options open and once they get the go ahead they will go this year but they won’t book as there’s too much uncertainty.”
Both Jo and Alison do, however, remain hopeful that on June 21 – the day in which the government is expected to announce the lifting of lockdown – people will feel more reassured about holidays to green list countries without fear that travel rules will change once they get there.
Il Mondo Travel is currently open to those wishing to enquire about holidays or for advice about future travel plans. For more information or to book an appointment call 01246 588653.