Following the announcement last Thursday that the traffic light system for travel to and from the UK is to be simplified, and expensive PCR tests scrapped for fully vaccinated passengers, lastminute.com has unsurprisingly seen this reflected in searches and bookings.
In the three days since the announcement (17-20th September), package bookings were up over 52%, compared to the same 3 days the week before. Searches for package holidays also increased by over 37% in the same time period comparison.
Last week (week 37) was the biggest week so far this year for both package and flight-only bookings with lastminute.com. Flight-only bookings rose by 43% compared to the week before, following the announcement.
A good portion of the latest growth in package bookings is driven by City Breaks (43%), which lastminute.com attributes partly to the pre-departure test no longer being needed from 4th October, a great boost for the shorter duration city product, on top of the relaxed traffic light rules bringing more confidence too. Sun & Beach holidays remain lastminute.com’s biggest product with a 56% share.
Destination wise, it’s interesting to see an uptick in destinations previously classed as ‘Amber’ which can now effectively be considered ‘Green’ under the new system. Spain’s share of package bookings has increased by 19% to take a 41% share, followed by Greece and Portugal.
51% of package bookings made post-announcement are departing before half term (within the next 4 weeks). 89% of bookings are for 2021, so there are still low levels of bookings for 2022 bookings.