Vaccine rollout leads to more bookings with Suffolk holiday companies

Bridget Keevil, owner of Travel Stop travel agency. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bridget Keevil, owner of Travel Stop travel agency is working from home during the pandemic - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tourism bosses and travel agents say there has been an uptick in bookings as vaccine rollout  boosts confidence.

As the vaccine is rolled out among the population and confidence rises that the pandemic will finally be at an end people are starting to book holidays with Suffolk firms.

Nick Attfield, property manager at Adnams, said the breweries pubs and hotels had seen an increase in bookings. 

"Last time I looked we were significantly up on booking compared to this time last year for April, March, May and June.

"I'm sure the confidence is growing with the vaccine out now. 

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams, said the change in restrictions would make a huge d

Nick Attfield, director of properties at Adnams - Credit: JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS

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"People are booking to look forward to something. But they're also playing it safe and securing a UK holiday early on in what will be a period of pent up demand.

"They know that they are less likely to be stopped from coming to Southwold than they are from going to Ibiza."

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But holidaymakers are also looking to go further afield as well.

Bridget Keevil, founder of Suffolk-based travel agents Travel Stop, said: "Bizarrely enough, as the cruise industry hasn't had a particularly good name due to the Diamond Princess right at the beginning of this, most of our forward bookings have been for cruise bookings.

"People believe that the cruise industry is going to come back and be one of the safest ways to travel."

Mrs Keevil said the bookings were largely coming from an older people who may be close to the front of queue for vaccinations.

She said: "I do think the vaccine is giving people a little bit more confidence, but until people have had it they don't know when they're going to have it, so don't want to book."

Peter Deer, managing director of Fred Olsen Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Peter Deer, managing director of Fred Olsen - Credit: Pagepix

Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said it was "clear" that there is still a strong demand for travel.

"The development and rollout of the vaccine is a very good thing," he said. "In December when news of the vaccine was first announced we did see a boost to consumer confidence for travel, and hence to bookings too.

“We have had incredible support from our guests since we paused our operations in early 2020, and have seen an encouraging amount of guests not only transferring to alternative cruises, as opposed to a refund — if we have had to cancel their cruise — but also in new bookings too.

“If the rollout of the vaccine continues at the rate as predicted by the government we expect to see a steep rise in bookings as people feel more certain for their holidays for 2021 and beyond.”

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