Thursday 14 January 2021 5:31 pm

Middle-aged Brits look ahead to post-Covid holidays after over-50s get vaccine, says Tui

FTSE-listed travel giant Tui said it has seen a jump in holiday bookings from those aged over 50 in the UK, which it hasn’t seen since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

The travel company said it assumed this was down to over-50s having confidence to book holidays for the summer, in the hope they’ll have had the Covid-19 vaccine.

Andrew Flintham, who heads Tuis operations in the UK explained the surge.

“Since the end of last year, bookings from this group have accounted for 50% of all our web bookings, as customers long for a sunshine break later in summer, in particular in Greece, Turkey or the Balearics.

“And many Brits want to get away for longer this year, and opting for 14, 10 or 11 nights instead of seven to make up for not having a holiday in 2020.”

Currently, all non-essential travel from the UK is banned, however the number of Brits recieving the Covid-19 vaccination continues to climb.

It is hoped current restrictions will have eased significantly by the spring, although many countries could maintain entry or flight bans on UK residents.

Shares in Tui are up around three per cent this afternoon, but remain down by more than a third on their price this time last year.

Like all airline and hotel companies package-holiday specialist Tui had a horrid 2020, and reliant on state aid from Germany to stay afloat.

It was forced to cancel hundreds of flights and holidays over the crucial summer period as it grappled with constantly changing restrictions across Europe.

In the third quarter it posted a €1.1bn loss.

Confidence coach

Meanwhile, National Express today also said its coach tour bookings for the Summer were ahead of this time last year.

The package coach holiday division of National Express, which includes Lucketts Travel and Woods Tours, has seen a 185 per cent increase in bookings for Spring and Summer 2021.

Jit Desai, head of holidays and travel at National Express said:

“98% of our customer base is over 65 and we’ve seen an increased appetite for travel in the last week or two with an uplift in enquiries and bookings every time there’s been an announcement about new vaccine approvals and the roll-out programme.