Demand for overseas holidays higher than 2019, says Barrhead Travel

Demand for overseas holidays has reached its highest level since before the pandemic, according to Barrhead Travel.

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The Glasgow-headquartered agency says it has continued to record rising booking numbers since major travel restrictions were eased in January.

Last week, it reported that booking levels were 25 per cent higher than the same period in 2019, with enquiry numbers reaching the highest point since before the pandemic.

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Over half of new bookings are for summer 2022, with clients rushing to secure holidays for this year. A growing number of holidaymakers, it reports, are simultaneously booking trips for 2023 and 2024 in a bid to lock in pricing. It also noted that, last week, April was its top-selling month by passenger numbers, indicating a strong last-minute market.

Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, said she expected this summer to see tourism levels return to “almost normality” as many people holiday for the first time in over two years.

Jet2 is suspending flights to Krakow between 24 March and 26 May (Photo: Shutterstock)

“Demand levels are soaring – we’ve particularly noticed a spike in holiday enquiries over the last few weeks as restrictions continue to relax across the world,” she added.

“With no travel restrictions left in the UK and many other countries following suit, people are feeling much more confident about travelling over the coming months. Unsurprisingly, summer is set to be our busiest with school summer holiday dates proving to be the most popular departures for new bookings.

“The fact that we are seeing demand begin to outstrip 2019 levels really highlights how quickly confidence has returned to the market. Holidays are extremely important to people this year: many people haven’t been able to enjoy quality time with loved ones for two or three years, so trips away will be very special.

Dobson noted that customers were keen to secure good value-for-money pricing and said that there were still great deals in the market for this summer.

She said: “We’ve noticed some operators and airlines increasing capacity for the summer season which is good news for the industry and for travellers. Global travel is slowly, but surely, returning to business as usual and I expect we will see a steady stream of restored services as summer approaches.”