National Express has seen “a 185% increase” in bookings through its package coach holidays division for spring and summer 2021 compared to pre-coronavirus COVID-19 figures for 2020.
The division, which includes Lucketts Travel and Woods Tours – part of Woods Coaches of Leicestershire – believes that the uplift has come because of confidence among ‘grey pound’ spenders in the vaccine rollout process. Bookings are currently being taken for departures from May onwards.
98% of the National Express package coach holidays customer base is aged over 65. The operator has seen an uplift in enquiries and bookings “every time there has been an announcement about new vaccine approvals and the roll-out programme,” says Head of Holidays and Travel Jit Desai.
“Some of this is postponed travel carried over from last year. But there is definitely a trend of customers being comfortable that they will have had their vaccination and be protected from spring onwards, and so can make travel plans,” adds Mr Desai.
“Some are telling us that they have already had their jab and cannot wait to go on holiday once guidance allows. Customers say that they are choosing the UK because of the uncertainty around international travel and flights. They are worried about the possibility of cancellations and the potential that they may have to quarantine on return to the UK.”
The 10 most popular UK destinations for National Express package holiday bookings thus far are:
- Isle of Man
- Isle of Wight
- Isles of Scilly
- Lake District
- North Wales
National Express is offering a £1 deposit scheme and a 100% refund, or a free transfer to another departure date, if any holidays are cancelled due to coronavirus COVID-19.
Please note that this story does not relate to Wood Travel of Bognor Regis, which remains an indepently-owned business.