‘It’s up in the air’: Northampton travel agents offer advice about 2021 holidays amid confusion
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Two independent Northampton travel agents have offered useful advice to anyone who might be itching to get away on holiday this year.
Following a number of different messages from Government officials, confusion has been growing around whether or not consumers can expect to be able to travel abroad this year or not.
The travel industry is still waiting for clarity surrounding the rules for visiting other countries or other parts of the UK, which is causing frustration.
Philippa Goodyer-Hill, from Goodyer Travel in Duston, said: “We are being completely honest with customers that we just do not know what will happen.
“What is worrying for us though, is the Government saying do not make any bookings at all.
“I don’t see any wrong with making a booking for 2022 or a bit later this year, if people want something to look forward to and we are seeing some customers booking.”
Another local agent is holding out for clarity on travel for people who have received, or will have received, the Covid-19 vaccine, which he says will be significant, but he is not sure when this information will come.
Rob Gower, from Dragonfly Traveller in Hardingstone, added: “There is very little going on at the moment, certainly in terms of any level of commitment to anything and I can understand that as it is not clear what we will or will not be able to do.
“Every over 50 is meant to be vaccinated by May and this is significant, especially as places like Greece and Cyprus say people with a vaccine people can go there on holiday without restrictions.
“Vaccine passports could be really significant too, but with families travelling, will children have to have vaccines too? Right now it’s all up in the air and until we get clarity I don’t think people will commit.
“I think UK travel will happen first, but the issue with that will be supply, as a lot has been booked out already.
“For now, people should sit tight and not book anything as the situation is changing and will continue to change.”
Rob is hopeful that Boris Johnson’s ‘road map’ announcement on February 22 will cover travel in some respect.
Philippa, however, believes customers can book now to give them something to look forward to, as long as they have confidence that their booking is flexible and can be amended.
She continued: “As an ABTA agency, we are making sure customers know their rights and that they book with a company that will be flexible.
“Make sure you are booking with a company that will let you make amendments or change the holiday.
“Book with someone you can speak to and that you know you can talk to about your booking.
“It’s also best to make sure you book with a bonded package holiday as these are protected by the ATOL scheme. It’s when customers start booking flights separately that they do not have protection.”
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