Retired people in the South West have been booking holidays for later in the year in large numbers after receiving their vaccinations, according to the region’s leading coach operator Bakers Dolphin.
Confidence is returning that the tourism market will bounce back after Easter with online and telephone bookings rocketing in the last week.
Amanda Harrington, Sales and Marketing Director for Bakers Dolphin said: “It seems as if the first thing people do when they return home after receiving the Covid-19 protection is to start booking a holiday to look forward to.
“We are also getting so many requests for day excursions that that we are rushing out a special Day’s Out brochure in the next few weeks with ideas for trips to Stately Homes, gardens, museums and great scenery.
“Many people missed out on holidays and now want to get away as soon as they can. It is difficult for us to plan at the moment as we do not know when restrictions will be lifted. Bookings are very strong for resorts in Cornwall and the South West and also for Scotland.
“We are finding they are less strong for overseas, but people are keen to get into Italy, Spain and Austria on tours as soon as the regulations allow.”
Since last March Bakers Dolphin has found that people are willing to book ahead and then change if necessary or have a refund when circumstances dictate. They know their money is safe as Bakers Dolphin is a bonded company, and are flexible with a choice of money back, re-booking or refund vouchers when tours have been cancelled due to restrictions.
The coach operators are now expecting 2021 to be a bumper year for holidays once the vaccine roll-out is completed and Government ends all restrictions.
Amanda Harrington said: “The strongest take-up is for holidays in July, August and beyond but we still have people keen to go away at Easter if they possibly can.”
Bakers Dolphin prefer bookings to be made through their website: www.bakersdolphin.com but telephone bookings are still being taken by staff working from home. Shops in Broadmead and Weston-super-Mare are currently closed.